Friday Featured Etsy Seller: Birdhouse Accents

I recently came across Fred and Lynn's Etsy shop - Birdhouse Accents. They do fantastic work. I want this primitive house for bluebirds to live in and the red feeder for cardinals - they like to feed on the ground. These are so lovely, and the prices are not bad at all.


Thursday Text: Walden

I had to speak in church on Sunday, and one of the things that I touched on was simplicity. I am always thinking about simplifying my life. Thoreau actually did when he lived in a little cabin at Walden Pond. (Here's a picture that I took when we were there a few years ago.)

As he recorded his thoughts about his time there, he said:

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.


Butterfly Flower

My new favorite fragrance at Bath & Body Works is Butterfly Flower. To me, it smells like the Missouri Botanical Garden in February. You might think that nothing is growing in February, but it's when they have their annual orchid show and jasmine and fragrant olive are blooming in the Linnean House. Lovely.


Library Thing

Have you heard about Library Thing? I just found out about it and haven't joined yet, but I think I will. It's a place to keep track of all of your books and notes. I just finished Harry Potter 7 (again), so I think it's time for another classic.


Mormon Muffins

Mormon Muffins are a unique Utah thing that originated, I believe, at the Greenery Restaurant at the mouth of Ogden Canyon. They top them with honey butter and serve them for dessert. I've really been craving some lately, but I haven't had the time - or the All Bran - to make them.

Here's the recipe:



boiling water
baking soda
All Bran Cereal
40% Bran Flakes
walnuts (chopped)

Add soda to boiling water and set aside. Whip shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs slowly. Mix well. Add the buttermilk, flour, salt and mix again. Add the soda water very slowly. Gently fold the cereals and the walnuts into the mix.

Spoon 1/8 cup into greased muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Muffin mix must sit in the refrigerator over night before baking. Muffin mix will last one week, covered and refrigerated. Yields 3 dozen muffins.


Friday Featured Etsy Seller: Art Goodies

I've seen the lovely work of Lisa Price before but was reminded of it again the other day (I can't remember where I saw it again!). Her Etsy shop, Art Goodies, offers a wonderful variety of block print animals - on dish towels, aprons, stuffies, etc. I think I like the squirrel and the bunny the best.


Thursday Two Things: Ellis Library/Sycamore Library

I wish that I could say that I would really miss the Columbia Public Library, but the fact of the matter is that I have not used it that much. It is a great facility, though. We have also enjoyed the immense libraries on campus at the University of Missouri. Anyway, here is a modified version of something that I'll miss and something that I'm looking forward to.

1. Missouri - the smell of the Ellis Library. (I didn't read a lot of books, but I liked how it smelled when I was waiting for Tony.)

2. Illinois - the Sycamore Public Library. I'm hoping to use it often. It's not far from where we're moving, and I love the building. Isn't that dome fantastic?


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Have you seen it yet? We went to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on Monday evening. It was very long and quite good. I re-read 5 and 6 before we went and am re-reading 7 now and really enjoying it. What did you think of the latest movie?


St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

Gooey butter cake is one of the wonders of St. Louis. Its name describes it pretty well - it is gooey and buttery and chewy and like nothing else. If you want to stay true to the original, you have to make it with a crust that calls for yeast. And using a yellow cake mix totally defeats the purpose. I found a pretty good recipe at BigOven here. I think I need to go make one now...


Bear Clock

Last weekend when I was shopping around Rocheport, I got this cute pop-out bear clock at Richard Saunders. It says, You say you saw a floating bear? However can that be? A dog in a barrel and an elephant too? What a wonderful sight to see! It was just too fun to pass up.


Friday Featured Art: Rain on 24th Street

A new painting by Joe: Rain on 24th Street. I really like this one because it's a typical scene in Ogden, where I grew up. I miss the mountains. Sigh.


Thursday Two Things: MU/NIU

Two more things that I will miss and that I'm looking forward to.

1. Missouri - The University of Missouri. We've lived here and worked here for 5 years now, and the campus is really beautiful.

2. Illinois - Northern Illinois University. Tony did his master's degree there, and we'll be about 5 miles away. So we'll be going to a lot of football games, but that's OK because their mascot is a Huskie - they run through the end zone after touchdowns, and it's so cute.


Google Maps

Today I was looking at Google Maps, and I thought it would be fun to use the Street View option to see another part of the world. I chose Amsterdam and selected a random street along a canal. Here's one of the vignettes that I saw as I scrolled down the street. Isn't it lovely?


Dash and Albert

I stopped in White Horse on Saturday to look for some things for the home that we will be moving to next month. I didn't exactly find anything, but I did notice some really cute striped rugs. I thought the 2'x3' ones would be good for next to the bed. The owner told me about the rug company - it's called Dash and Albert (after their dogs). Check out their web site - their styling is lovely. I really want this star rug (below).



A poem that I wrote in 2000...

It can be frightening
Like the first time
You see the spark of a firefly
And wonder if it would hurt to hold it

Then on a dark and lonely road
You see the faint flickering
Along the edges of the trees
And you realize that it's comforting

Sometimes love is like that



Friday Featured Art: Salisbury Cathedral

The other day I was talking to Tony, and he mentioned that there had been a painting of a cathedral that he had really liked at the Met. He thought that it was Salisbury Cathedral and that it was by John someone. I guessed John Constable, and we looked it up. It's called Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Grounds. What a good memory!


Thursday Two Things: Arthur Bryant's/PJ's

This week's two things have to do with food.

1. Missouri - Kansas City barbeque at places like Arthur Bryant's.

2. Illinois - PJ's Courthouse Tavern, serving local favorites like Italian beef and Chicago dogs and pretzels with spicy mustard. (My favorite is the Frisco burger - and isn't it cute that they call appetizers "Opening Statements?")


Family Trees

I've been thinking about family trees lately, and, as it turns out, there are a surprising number of great options out there. The first one is a customizable option from Sarah Jane Studios on Etsy. I really love her illustrations. The hand-lettered tree and fan chart are ideas from Martha's issue on genealogy back in 1999 (I still have my copy). I honestly cannot remember where I heard about the last one, but it's from Bodie and Fou. I may still love the fan chart at Sara's house the best...


Rain on the Roof

I heard this song on satellite radio the other day and thought it was nice - Rain on the Roof, by Lovin' Spoonful. (You can just listen and not look if the '70s clothes are too weird for you...)



I read about Wolpy on Jordan Ferney's post about maps. We have a beautiful National Geographic map that I haven't mounted yet, but I plan to. I also plan to make some silver-glittered map pins. (I swear it was a project by Cathe Holden that I may have seen on Design Mom, but I can't find it...) In the meantime, I've started an online map of the places that Tony and I have been together. (We didn't include ALL of the places, because that would just be ridiculous.) We hope to add more soon!


Friday Featured Art: The Star-Spangled Banner

I hope you'll all have a happy holiday! We have much to be grateful for. Today's featured art is the Star-Spangled Banner. This is the flag that inspired the song. It can be viewed at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. (One of my very favorite places in D.C.)


Thursday Two Things: Richard Saunders/Scentimental Gardens

Here are a couple more things that I'm going to miss when I leave and that I'll be excited for when I arrive.

1. Missouri - shops in Rocheport, like Richard Saunders.

2. Illinois - Scentimental Gardens in Geneva - I just got clued in to this one by Eddie Ross (check out his post - you'll want to come with me!), and it's not far from where we're moving!


Martha Stewart Conservatory Collection

Have you seen the Martha Conservatory light fixtures at Macy's? They are gorgeous. This first one reminds me a bit of some pendants that Sara has in her living room. I'm guessing the piece at the top is to keep bugs from falling in... I especially love the etched mirror sconce. So beautiful.