Tuesday Homecoming!

Oh, Happy Day!

Well, all that walking around the hills of the Presedio in San Francisco last week really did it's work. Ashley went into labor soon after. She worked so hard and after about 20 hours of labor she had cute baby Hudson by C-section at almost midnight Friday! He surprised us all coming almost 2 weeks early and weighing in at 9# 4 oz! He is perfect! So, after four days in the hospital, mom and dad and baby come home today. I think he looks like his mom did when she was born so we will see as he develops just who he resembles. I have been preparing the house, cleaning and washing and (blogging-no, that doesn't count!) to get everything clean enouAlign Leftgh for this precious bundle straight from God. We are so blessed! We even had an earthquake (4.3). I felt right at home! It must be a sign--a welcoming home gesture.
Welcome home Hudson!

Makin' Friends Monday

Makin' Friends Monday is today and the challenge Kasy at All That Is Good has given us today is to list 10 things that you can't live without. So here are my ten that are essential to me (or at least make my life liveable).
1. My contacts. Since my vision is so poor (2400) I cannot see anything without them. I have worn them since I was 18 so they have gone through a lot of living with me. (Glad they can't talk and tell all!)
2. Chocolate. I guess I could live without it, but it makes life so muchy more creamy, and bittersweet and dove-like. Sometimes I just have to have a little.
3. My car. Isn't it nice to have dependable wheels to take us anywhere, whenever we want?
4. Hair spray. I have used it for years. I like a light spray and try not to breathe in the fumes.
5. My faith. It keeps me grounded and helps set my course each day.
6. Friends. I would be so sad and lonely without the support, love and laughter that they bring.
7. Family. I have a great one!
8. Electric blanket, socks and shoes. I am forever cold and these help keep my body temperature up. 9. Copy machine. I am forever copying things for church, family, myself etc. I love to print out color copies, and enlarge and reduce what I am copying to fit a card or book or whatever.
10. Fresh berries. I try to have strawberries, blueberries and/or raspberries everyday. They are so delicious, I want some now.

To find out other favorites go to Kasey's blog and find other friends.


Makin' Friends Monday

Today for Makin' Friends Monday we are reflecting on what makes happy and for what we are thankful. This is a great exercise for me as I have so many reasons to be grateful. Today, especially, I am grateful to be in San Francisco enjoying the company of my youngest daughter (and her I cute husband) as we await the impending birth of her first baby, Hudson.
Penny is getting all the love she can before Hudson comes.
The tiny clothes have been washed, folded and put into their proper bins.
The high chair and swing have been assembled and are set up in the kitchen and the two soon-to-be-parents are riding around the city with the little car seat buckled into the back seat of their car.

Now we are going to walk, and walk, and walk until He decides it is the exact time he chooses to meet us and come into this world!

I am so proud and thankful for my sweet daughters and their loving husbands that take good care of them. And no one has cuter or nicer grandchildren than I!
I am blessed to have a warm, beautiful home and live near some of my family. Next to family is good health, a strong body and good genes. I have great friends, a dependable car and time to enjoy life. I am thankful to live in this free country and live in this time in history. If I was really appreciative, I would never complain about a thing. That, I have to work on and after this exercise, it makes me really think about doing so.

There are many little things to be thankful for that I will not mention here but you can read more Makin' Friends Monday by visiting Kasey here. I will enjoy reading about your favorite things today too.
Thanks for coming by!


Welcome Spring!

I welcome the first day of Spring with a poem from my mother's kindergarten -teaching years.

( Horray!! Soon we will be seeing some of these)I have a little pussy,

And her coat is silver gray;

She lives in a great wide meadow,

And she never runs away.

She always is a pussy,

She'll never be a cat

Because---she's a pussy willow!

Now what do you think of that!

These will soon be out wild in the meadows

These are out in front of a beautiful nursery and antique shop called Wisteria in California.

Poppies in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Happy 1st day of Spring to you!!


First Tablescape Thursday

This is my first Tablescape Thursday hosted by Susan at Between Naps on The Porch and I am so excited. I love setting my table differently each time and finding just the right china or glassware, tablecloth or napkins to set the particular mood. I was reading At Home With Carolyn Roehm last week and got the idea for this tablecloth from her beautiful and inspiring book with it's lovely pictures.
I love the contrast between the blue and white and have several different patterns of china in these colors. I mix and match(?) them together. This was set for a casual family dinner.
Because my round table is so wide ("72") it is hard to find tablecloths for it so I have begun buying coverlets or bed coverings. (Thank you Carolyn). This one is for a queen size, is matelisee and has the nice scalloped edging. I have found a big variation in the sizes so be sure to read the dimensions before purchasing. I have found some at HomeGoods for a good price.
I love old transfer ware with the lovely picture scenes.
I found some of these balls at HomeGoods. I did have them in a lovely glass bowl then changed them to the basket to look more casual.
I thought this one was Spode but the back says Denmark trademark England.
This is a Syracuse China (restaurant use) plate that I bought from their outlet store when we lived in New York.
This is my silver plate we got for our wedding. I love it with the rose and shell patterns combined. (I wish it were in focus!)
The stemmed glasses were from Costco. I am looking for some pretty blue tumblers now and some clear blue salad plates. Also some beautiful antique napkins would be nice! To see more lovely tables go to Susan's site. Now I look forward to reading and seeing all the beautiful tablescapes from everyone else!
Happy Tablescaping to you!


Wordless Wednesday

Dale in Vermont with a calf at the b&b where we stayed.

"But listen to me one moment.

Quit being sad.

Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you"

Honest Scrap

Happy Tuesday!!

I still can't believe that I didn't win the HGTV's Dream Home. They didn't even call me!!! oh, well, I guess I will be content in my own home. Today is Tuesday--the day I see my CPA about my taxes! Wish me luck.

Rhonda at Down Memory Lane passed the Honest Scrap Award to me!! Thank You so much Rhonda! I was so surprised when I read that you picked me, so thank you.! Honesty is the best policy. (But, it has gotten me into trouble sometimes when I speak before I think). The requirements are that I have to list 10 things about myself and then pass it on to others. So, here we go...

1- I love a bargain! Just ask my daughters. Sometimes I embarrass them when I ask for a discount. Just recently I saved over $100 just by asking if there was a "special" I could use for my order. The salesperson looked and, yes, there was and she applied it to my order.
2-I love rituals and ceremonies.! I gave my house a name and had a "House Blessing" party for it with everyone involved blessing each of the rooms with bell ringing and candle burning (actually the 3 year-old turned a flashlight on and off representing the candle!)
3-My family is my treasure.! I love each of them dearly and miss those who are not near.
4-My favorite color is red! I have it in almost every room in my house and I am wearing it right now.
5- I am a list maker. I live by my lists. I sometimes list something just so I can cross it off when it is done.
6- My motto for a house is "nothing is permanent".! Needless to say, I have done 7 remodels -two to flip for resale.
7- Another motto is "any excuse for a party"! But I don't like chit chat or cocktail parties.
8- I have become more outgoing, stronger and braver in the last 4 years.
9- I love all things feminine.
10- I am a child of God.

Now that you know more about me, I am passing this Honest award on to some new friends I would like to know better.

Vilate of My Corner of the Net... who is abusy mom, scrapper, disigner and gardner.
Betty of BerryMorrin Bits and Tips who is a busy mom, small business owner and menu planner.
Ashley of Delancey Dish who is 8 1/2 months pregnant, a business owner and mom to two dogs. and Jen at Tatertots and Jello a busy mom of four and fashion deva to all who know her.

Also, Wendy at Wenderful another busy mom of 4 who is trying to decide which animals to get for her kids today.


Makin' Friends Monday

It is fun to meet new people and one way is with It's makin' Friends Monday with Kasey. This is a fun little Question and Answer game. Once you read my answers it is your turn...Tag! you're it! Here are the questions and answers for this week:

What is your blogger name? Honeysuckle
When is your birthday? October 7
How long have you been blogging? Since 12/07/08 About 4 months
Who tagged you?Kasey from All That Is Good
Tell me your five most favorite body parts.
Seriously?1. My hands. I have long skinny fingers that look nice when I paint my nails 2. My neck. It isn't have sagging yet 3. Ankles 4. My back 5. calves -I hated this question too!
What do you wish most for your birthday? To go to a friend's house that is beautiful and have a wonderful lunch of delicious food, laugh and have a good time. Time with family in evening.
What color are you nails right now? They are have clear polish on them.
Have you had any depressing thoughts lately? Yes!
What’s your plan for the next month? To help with my daughter's new baby boy Hudson for a week or so. I have tickets to Wicked, and Easter celebration, then spend a week in Newport Beach.
At what age did you have your first crush?I liked a boy named Dennis in 8th grade.
Have you attended any school reunions? 20 year - It was really fun to see how people had changed ("Who are those old people?")
Are you a clean freak? I used to be more than I am now. I guess I am getting lazy.
What era do you wish you were born in?I don't think I would have done well in years past without the modern conveniences we have today. I am glad I am here now.
Are you a vegetarian? No. I would not do well eating only vegetables. I like variety.
How many pillows do you sleep with at night? Just one a very soft down one. I take it with me when I travel because my neck hurts with too fluffy a pillow otherwise.
Are you a light sleeper or a heavy sleeper? I am a little of both. I hear the very quiet furnace at night but am sound asleep when the alarm goes off.
Do you secretly wear granny panties when your man is not around? No
What is your ultimate dream job?Some sort of design job that I could do in my little studio (a dream) in the back of my home where I can wear cute comfy clothes and meet with clients occasionally and where I could host fun parties because half the fun of having it would be in decorating it to be versatile and darling with antiques and colorful slipcovers on a second-hand couch and such.
What is your dream car? Since I am really not into cars I am pretty much happy with my current Lexus.
Do you wake up easily in the morning? Only when I have to get up earlier than normal and I am afraid my alarm won't go off or something so I wake up evey 2 hours until I finally say it's not worth staying in bed and I get up.
Do you like hairy men? No thank you!
How about a man with a goatee? Whatever .
Which would you prefer: a two-hour spa massage, a two-hour Thai massage, or a two-hour foot massage? I really don't like massages. At a spa I always choose a facial.
Have you ever wished you had a different name? Yes, once when we moved I was going to be known as Rachael but I forgot and told the first person we met with as we were building our house, and it was downhill from then on. The other day at the bank I introduced myself and the person repeated, "Gina" and I thought and said, "Well, Gina is nice maybe I'll go by that name today."
What is the most extreme sport you have ever done? The joke in my family is that I am not athletic. One day when I was 12 I waterskiied with a group. That's about as brave as I have been.
Do you prefer traveling in Europe or Asia? Europe. I'd love to go to France and take a cooking class or Italy and take a painting class.
What is your favorite food? Mexican.
What is your most embarrassing moment while out on a date? I once had a date that lasted 12 hours and by the time I got home I was pretty sick of the boy and I'm sure I wasn't that cordial at the end.


Focaccia Bread Tutorial

I have been trying to duplicate this wonderful focaccia that my friend, Judy, makes. After several tries it did come out almost exactly like her's. This is really good. It bakes up about 3" high and has wonderful flavor. It tastes delicious split with butter or used for a panini sandwich. It takes about 4 hours from start to finish but of course with any yeast bread it has 2 risings and so it is something to make when you have work to do around the house and can stop every once in a while to punch it down or roll it out. It is not hard to make. Here is the tutorial for it:
Focaccia Bread
Put 3 cups warm water in a mixing bowl with 2 T. active dry yeast, then add 1/4 cup sugar. Let sit for at least 5 minutes without stirring. It will look like this all foamy and bubbly: Mix it together at this point. Then add 4 cups flour and mix well. Let it sit for 30 minutes in the bowl to make a sponge (it becomes bubbly and gains in volume.)
Now add 1 T salt, 1/4 cup chopped fresh garlic and fresh herbs of your choice. I like rosemary and thyme. I put the salt, garlic, rosemary and thyme in the food processor to chop.
Add 1/4 cup olive oil and 3 cups flour. Mix until smooth, but not kneaded. The dough should be soft, not stiff and stretchy. Now use about 1 more cup of flour (a total of 8 cups flour). Knead it about 1-2 minutes. This dough is not a stiff dough it is softer and stickier than regular bread dough.
Proof the dough by allowing it to rise until double. I put it in a larger bowl to give it room to expand.
This is how it looked before (previous picture) and after:
Punch it down. Pour it out of the bowl and onto a jellyroll pan with sides (13" x 17" ) (not a regaular cookie sheet) that has been sprayed with oil. Spread it evenly with your fingers into the pan: (Spray your hands with Pam first)
Rub the top lightly with olive oil. Cover it lightly with a towel. Let it raise until double. This will take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2? hours depending on the temperature of the house and where you put it. I put hot water in the bowl it just came out of, then put the jellyroll pan with the dough in it over the bowl by a heat register and it rises quite fast.

Bake it at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. Make sure the bottom of the pan is in the middle of the oven. When done the top will be a light golden color. Don't let it get brown or it will be over cooked. The bottom does not get brown but make sure it is cooked through by lifting up a corner to check.
It will rise a little more in the oven as it cooks and get light golden on top (and smell delicious) when it is finished baking. Yum!
This pan makes 24 nice size square pieces or you can cut it larger for more "manly" size sandwiches. (This was the last lonely little piece left, a side piece which is not as high and it is out of focus, sorry)

There are many things you can do with the dough: leave out all the herbs, add chopped olives or add them to the top, sprinkle the rop with rock salt, sprinkle with cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, coarse salt--anything goes! It is delicious as is or cut in half horizontally and used for panini sandwiches. It is worth the effort. Enjoy!


5 Stars

How to be a 5 star hostess:
1. Have a wonderful lunch ready when I arrive. (Even though you are on your own diet and cannot eat any of it!) Menu: Homemade Fresh Pea Soup (served in brown polka dot bowls atop brown and white striped plates.)
Baby Lettuce Salad (with hand painted quirky cruet bottles for the dressing)
Fresh Orange and Currant Scones
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries 2. Put your three large dogs in the kennel or away with your husband because you know I am afraid of big dogs.
3. Have beautiful little and big fresh flower arrangements everywhere.

4. Let me stay in the "Marilyn Monroe" bedroom. With light aqua satin comforter, soft beige sheets, mirrored dresser, crystal chandelier, beaded lamps and
gorgeous panoramic view of San Francisco AND Oakland bridges and all in between out my window.
Have a house full of eye candy everywhere--a house that is so beautiful it has been in a magazine.
5. Chauffeur me everywhere I want to go and see. 6. Have fun watching The Bachelor and make whimsy clips together.
7. Be your wonderful self!
Thank you, dear friend, Barbara, for a wonderful visit!