Behind My Red Door

Friday, April 29, 2011

A very special birth day, a confession and a special thank you from a special lady!

Today while the rest of the world had their eyes glued to the TV for the royal wedding, Behind My Red Door, or more accurately OUTSIDE of my red door, the miracle of birth (or should I say hatching) was taking place.

When I first told you about this in early April, this is what it looked like outside. 034

For the third year in a row, Momma duck made her nest behind the little prim fence between the garage and the front door. In the warmer weather, I used that fence to shield the faucet and garden house. They are not very prim looking. 017

Then we had some fierce weather and my poor little fence took a beating.  So I got my tobacco basket from NC and used that to shield Momma and her nest. It looks pretty good! 038

And I placed my tallest bee skep, my watering can and a prim star in front of it for extra protection. 028

And Mother Nature took care of filling in the rest…018

And Momma duck took to sitting on her eggs most of the day.

april 2011 

Like the rest of the country, we had lousy rainy weather for most of the week but today, the sun came out and it was a gorgeous sunny and dry spring day in these parts. A perfect day for a miracle of nature!001

And when Lili and I went outside, we saw the most wonderful site… .. 009

Lili was beyond excited! She squealed and babbled something – all I could make out were the words Momma, quack, babies and it ended with ohhhhhhh soooooo cuuuuuuuuuuuute!! ( I wish you could hear how she says that! It makes my whole body smile!)
Somehow I knew exactly what she meant!

She was so good – after her initial excitement she would go back and check on Momma and her ducklings but was very quiet – putting her finger to her mouth and saying “shhh Meemee – be quiet.”  And when Lili had her snack, she brought Momma duck a goldfish cracker and she told me “I share”.  I told her I was very proud of her – but little did she know the ants would enjoy it more than Momma duck. You can see it sitting in the bark next to the green chive covered with ants.001

Yes it was quite an exciting day! Lili even got to share the excitement with her momma and dadda when they came for family dinner. Before she got in her car seat to go home, we told her to say “see you next year” to Momma duck because we knew by morning, Momma would take her brood to the brook behind us and from there probably up or down stream to one of the ponds in the neighborhood. We are so blessed to have shared this with Lili and we hope that next year Momma finds us hospitable enough to come back.


Now for the confession. I have a problem. It comes and goes but lately is has a real hold over me!! Yes, me. You see - I can never leave well enough alone! I just get things the way I like them and then I am inspired by something I see and or something new and I have to change things up again. This time I am replaying an old familiar  scenario and once again purging and getting back to less is more – at least I am trying to! Now less is more to me may mean way too much for someone else or not nearly enough for the next person. But that’s OK. It is what feels right to each of us. All I know is that when my life gets busy and hectic ~ as it has been and will be for some time ~ I want order and simplicity in my home. I just feel better, calmer when there is not too much. And I really like it when I scan the room and my eyes can rest on the nice pieces I have worked hard to collect over the years since we moved here and I want to enjoy them. So whenever I have a few moments, I have been purging and simplifying. Again.

And so even though it probably doesn’t appear that way to most people, I did some purging in the kitchen – even as I added to my collection! LOL

Recently I acquired some new goodies at antique shops and promised to share their homes with you.The small measure and some new mashers and spoons as well as the new mortar and pestle went on my pumpkin bureau in the kitchen. 154[4]

The larger measure is in the living room for now… 083[5]


The wonderful custard cup from my friend Laurie is in the middle or my other two…018

And the buttery pin keep she made is ..on my buttery of course! 007

But despite my constant tweaking and changing, this house is not a show room ~ it is where our families gather for most holiday and family events so I am always balancing the look I want with making it family friendly. If something is within reach of Lili, for the most part, she can touch it and pick it up. Some things she can outright play with, others we teach her to be gentle with and respect them. She even has her own pouting chair and I place a prim doll in it for her to play with. I even gave her some some hanging candles to be hers. Sure they are getting a bit cracked – but she enjoys having her own candles.  She is very good – I think because she has those special things that she can play with as well as her own toys and adult attention, it is never a problem. And the older generation is taken into consideration as well. As long as my dad can make it into my home, his ambulation problems will dictate some of the furniture placement and floor coverings I use. But what good is all that time and attention spent on a home if it isn’t used to nurture loved ones?


I want to thank all blogging and FB friends that have taken the time to stop over and leave some encouraging words to my friend Lura after reading about her terrible car accident in my last post. She left this message for me and I thought you would like to see that you can make a difference in someone’s life !

“THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH .... or as my granddaughter says... SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH....
for mentioning me on facebook and on this post. I had a really hard day yesterday. I just couldn't keep the tears away. I know I have been greatly blessed but sometimes the road to recovery seems so long and painful that I give in to discouragement. I woke up this morning, in pain and thinking how will I get through another day of this?

Then I went to my blog and found so many comments from your blog readers that I am amazed. I read one after another. Their kind words of encouragement and well wishes have lifted my spirits. How can I feel down when so many kind people I don't even know are praying for me and wishing me well???
I prayed yesterday that God would help me find new courage. I prayed that God would lift my spirits and help me find my smile.
God heard my prayers .... and He touched your heart to answer them for me.
I believe that it was God who prompted you to put me on your blog and ask your friends to greet me.
They left me more than comments.... they left me new courage and helped me find my smile again.
You are a blessing to me. I love you. And by the way, I love your favorite wall.... but then I love your whole house!”


And before I close, I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to all those affected by the devastating storms that have ripped through our country the past few weeks. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.


Today I am thoughtful for:

A roof over my head

A dry bed to sleep in each night

Seeing the new hatched ducklings with Lili

The sun coming out after the storms

The selfless hard working Red Cross volunteers

Thank you to all my new followers and old and anyone else who takes the time to stop by!

Until next time ~ warm hugs, Linda

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bees, Bugs and Blooms and My Favorite Wall!

Imagine my delight this week, when I opened a box of the sweetest bowl fillers – made by my dear friend Colleen from And Baby Makes Five. Colleen was one of the first bloggers I connected with 3 years ago when I started blogging and she has become so dear to me.


Even while undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, she still takes the time to think of others and make them feel special. She is just that kind of person and I am blessed to call her friend.


Colleen knows that daisies are my favorite flower and sent her Bees, Bugs and Blooms bowl fillers. They are a welcome addition to my springtime décor! And they look great around the Amish Harvest candle – hand poured by Karen over at Star Mills Candle Shoppe.


Thank you Colleen!!

If you haven’t met this amazing gal yet, click on the picture like this


on my sidebar and please tell Colleen I sent you!


I promised some pictures of where I put my newest treasures and I’ll save those for my next post because I wanted to join in on Misi’s 1890 Gable House Musings Display Chain Tuesday again. This week’s theme is My Favorite Wall and this one is a no brainer for me! There are so may reasons why this wall in our dining room is my favorite wall in our home. Of course this is where our family gathers around the harvest table Mr. Red Door and crafter (okay – we struggled to make and we struggle to keep it from falling apart! LOL) From treasured furniture pieces and collections, to gifts from dear friends, I always feel good when I see this wall.



I think everyone knows by now that I really love my red stepback cupboard where I keep just some of my redware collection. This cupboard was one of my first new pieces when we moved here and I love the warm aged red color and how nicely it displays my redware.


You know I love me some redware! It is my favorite collection. I am so happy I started buying quality pieces back in the late 80’s on one of our many trips to the Lancaster, PA area. At the time, I was thrilled to be able to come home with one nice piece as a souvenir of our trip and additional pieces came home on each trip back.

And then there is my fowl rack…another of my favorite pieces that I have had for many years as well. I think I have been asked about this more than anything else in our home. I bought it at a store that used to be wonderfully prim but has changed drastically. The finish on it is just awesome!


I love the bowl with the scroll design on the bottom – it was made for displaying. And the tallow berries in the red basket were a gift from my dear friend Sherrie.

Two more of my favorite pieces are the gorgeous painted cupboard on the wall and my mustard bucket cupboard as I call it.


I got the painted wall cupboard at a shop that closed years ago – owned by a great gal Larissa Erwin. She was a wonderful influence on me and some of my early purchases. This piece was painted by a local artist which makes it even more treasured. I may not have a mural on my wall, but I have a mural! I just love it! 035

And next to it is this sweet sampler stitched for me by my dear friend Kathy. On the mustard piece are some treasures as well. The topiary was a thank you gift from my dear friend Karen Gerhart. The small crock to the right of it was another piece I bought one of those family trips to PA. It is from Eldreth Pottery. 049

The stoneware crock below was part of a subscription series of salt glazed stoneware I got from Early American Homes magazine many years ago as well. And the great lamp came from the Seraph in Sturbridge – again, many years ago. 039

The crock on the floor is another one of those pieces that I am glad I bought at the time. Larissa took me to some antique stores and she encouraged me to save and buy one really nice piece instead of several smaller pieces and over the years, it has been very sage advice!


The mustard piece is one of my newer pieces. I bought it locally but it is from a great shop in Hollis, Maine – Primitives in Pine. Click on the name and be prepared to make an extensive wish list!

And the closing reason the dining room wall is my favorite wall is because it is part of a long expanse connecting to the living room ….


…and my second favorite wall!059

Thanks for sticking with me through my narrative. If you want to join in, click ~here~ to get to Misi’s blog!


Today I would like to mention a wonderful blogger friend of mine. Her name is Grammy Lura and she is from CA. We have never met and she is not prim, but I have enjoyed her blog for a long time now. Every Sunday she posts Grammy’s smiles and it is so uplifting to me. Well Lura and her husband were headed to Utah to their granddaughters blessing when they were in a terrible car accident. Lura sustained some severe injuries but thankfully both she and John survived – though he bled so from his head and was momentarily knocked out so she thought she lost him. When he woke up and she knew he was OK, somehow she had the presence of mind to make sure the GORGEOUS blessing dress she made for her sweet baby grand daughter was removed from the wreck and kept away from all the blood. This is what the car looked like.

Lura broke 15 ribs, her sternum and collapsed a lung as well as many bumps and bruises. It is a miracle she is alive but she is still in a lot of pain. John had to go home to CA to take care of business for a bit and she has many long hours alone and in pain. She has her laptop so if anyone would like to cheer her up, you can stop by her blog and tell her I sent you and wish her well. She can really use some distractions and uplifting so prayers are also welcome! Click ~HERE~ for her blog and feel free to add her to your church or temple’s prayer list. Thank you!

Today I am thankful for:

Lura and John being spared

Memories of special times with family and friends

Living in this colonial town in one of only 2 states that celebrates Patriots Day – which has nothing to do with the marathon. Click ~here~ to read about my town’s true patriot Gen. Artemas Ward

Cooking on the grill

New spring veggies and potatoes

Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time ~ warm hugs, Linda

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Easter displays and more …

Good evening! I had a wonderful day today with my dear friends Audrey and Laurie. We spent some time antiquing and for me, it was a much needed break from the stress of things going on with my folks and the ‘busy –ness’ of everyday life. I think it is pretty clear that my family means everything to me and they are the reason I get up every day, but also, the older I get, I cherish time with my friends more and more. I want as much time as I can get with all the important people in my life. We are not guaranteed a tomorrow so we need to make the best of today. I am even more acutely aware of that this week as a dear friend is mourning the very sudden unexpected death of her husband. He simply did not wake up one morning last week. His death left a huge void in so many lives. RIP Bill, you will be dearly missed by so many people!


Before I get to my fun day, tonight I am joining Misi’s 1890 Gable House Musings Display Chain Tuesday and her theme is Easter. As my decorating style evolves and I am using more antiques and quality period accurate reproductions, I find I really enjoy having some fun with my seasonal décor. It’s a chance to add some fun and whimsy to our home. Growing up my mom always decorated for the holidays and seasons all year, and I have always done that as well. Now my seasonal décor is just a little more primitive than it was when I first started!

I’ll just let you scroll through the pictures…

003004008009017019025028038039053039048035Aprill spring touches 012054

To join in on the Tuesday Display Chain fun click ~HERE~. Thanks Misi for hosting us once again!


Since I was here last, I made even more changes in the kitchen- no Mr. Red Door still loves his oak cabinets so I haven’t painted them the soft creamy taupe color I would like to… so instead, I painted the old bureau I used for the microwave and Keurig coffee maker. It was quite a process as I didn’t like the end results of the first attempt so I decided to try again. The second time I used Caramol Colours Pumpkin over black. I love the warm color.

When it was time to put things back in place, a funny thing happened – I didn’t move the microwave back. Having lived here for 25 years now, I decided I needed a change of pace and so I tweaked all the counters and the bureau! As usual, some additional tweaking will take place – when I have time and because of my shopping today. Here is a quick tour around the kitchen …

009 - Copy




With the new table against the wall arrangement, the room looks more crowded but in actuality, we have more space in the center of the room when everyone is here – so I am enjoying that. 010


This is where the Keurig is living now… it needs a cover I think! 050

Can you see the new needle punch mini rug I finished over the stove?? 029

Changed up my baking corner a bit… one of the best things I ever bought was my stand mixer cover from Noel and Verge at Circa Home Living formerly Circa 1820. Click ~here~ for LOTS of eye candy!



Now you can see where the microwave is living.. not sure how it will work out when we have a crowd here – but we shall find out on Easter Sunday!! 059

And all the way back to the bureau again! Oops – don’t look at that crooked draw pull on the third drawer down….053You looked didn’t you?? LOL I knew you would!


Okay back today’s shopping fun! Audrey and I met up with Laurie and we hit some wonderful old mill buildings with antique centers and we stopped at Laurie’s house for lunch. We always have such a nice time when we are together. They are such dear friends!

I had a list of several things I hoped to find today and I got all but one! And Laurie gave me a belated birthday present –she made a buttery pin keep for my new make do buttery on the wall in the kitchen and the cute Rockingham pottery custard cup. I had a yellowware custard cup on my list but this one is even better! I love them both Laurie – thank you! The rest of these treasures I found along the way today. I finally found a mortar and pestle and I am thrilled – it will probably go on the mustard bureau. I haven’t had time to put them in their homes yet, so I’ll try to get pics when I do.



Update on Momma Duck…

She spends most of her day sitting on the 13 eggs and she is becoming more accustomed to Lili standing and looking at her. The first day she flew off and didn’t come back while we were outside. Day 2 she stayed most of the time – maybe it was Lili blowing her kisses or all the compliments Lili gave Momma Duck like “soooo cute”. Lili said that about 50 times. What woman doesn’t like a compliment?

026(Momma duck is behind the fence)

I put together a little slideshow of day 2 of Lili seeing Momma Duck. You can click ~HERE~ to see that. Make sure to read the captions below the pictures.


Today I am thankful for:

Clean drinking water

An abundance of food choice at the grocery store

Lili’s deep throaty chuckles

Green grass

Deep red pansies


Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope spring is finally making herself know where you are!

Until next time~ warm hugs, Linda