Dec 27, 2014

You Can't Go Home Again........

The title of this post comes from this song that has haunted me the last few years.

I guess I'm getting sentimental in my old age, but doesn't everybody?  Why?  Because the older you get, the more things change.  Change is good, overall, but sometimes it hurts.

Moving back to my other home, my heart fills every time I look around.  The red dirt, the bluffs, the trees, all these are familiar from my childhood and have not changed.  This makes me feel like I have indeed come home.  And yet, some things have changed, and while I know in my head that everything must, it breaks my heart.

My uncle Melvin and I recently took a trip to the cemetery to visit Nana's grave.  Once at the cemetery, we took our trip through town.  The town is Southwest City, Missouri, and Nana lived all the way through town right before the tri-state cornerstone.  She didn't live there her whole life, but that was the house all her grandchildren remember the best.  It was the house where we all came every Sunday for dinner.  It was the house where our parent's traveled to spend weekends when we were small.  I can remember waking up on the living room floor with all my cousins, where our parents had deposited us like so many burritos wrapped in our individual blankets.  

The house was down a winding road, and walking up to get the mail was a big trip for little legs to make.  I was never old enough to go, and sometimes my cousins got to ride the horse to get the mail.  I was never old enough for that either, and by the time I was old enough there wasn't a horse to ride.  Nana lived on a farm, and I can remember going with her milk the cow.  I would watch her pour off the cream, separate out the butter milk, and pour the milk over oatmeal for our breakfast.  Gathering eggs did not just mean from the chickens in the coop.  Nana had banties and guineas as well, which involved roaming the fields to find the eggs.  I wasn't old enough for that either, denied because I would step on the nests.  She had rabbits that she raised for meat, and geese that I don't know why she raised but remember as being very mean.  Nana always had bruises on her thighs from those geese, and I can remember seeing her reach out and wring their necks nonchalantly when they were headed for one of us little ones.

She sold the place years ago, and a family bought it but the house later burned.  In all these years we had looked in vain from the highway above trying to see what was left, but were always foiled by the leaves during the summer.

This time the leaves were gone, and we could see that nothing much remained.  My uncle Melvin pulled up the cattle guard at the top of the hill and asked me if I thought anyone would care if we drove down there.  I said I doubted it, but was secretly thrilled that he was going to do it, as I and my cousins had often hovered there too afraid to go on down for fear of trespassing.  We started the drive and I cannot tell you how it felt to once again travel down that winding gravel drive.  It truly did feel like coming home again. 

We drove slowly, commenting on the new barn that didn't used to be there and all the things that did used to be there but no longer were.  We were prepared for everything to be gone, but were surprised that the car port remained.

As the truck stopped right in front of the old carport, I said "How many hours have we all spent sitting right here drinking tea?" and the tears started flowing.  I got out, and through tear filled eyes, made my way across the cattle guard that I could remember being old enough to walk across for the very first time.  This was the cattle guard that my cousin Billy lost his play holster in and all us kids looked for it down there for years but never did find.  Funny the things you remember.  
We started just calling out memories.  How bad a driver Chief (Nana's second husband) was. How there used to be clothes lines strung between the posts. Nana had a dryer but did not prefer to use it.   How no one ever used the front door or porch even though it was on the front of the house.  The little wooden box with paper and pencil to leave a note and a clock to position on the front for when they had stopped by.  The spot where she butchered her chickens.  The old tractor seats welded onto posts with circular bottoms that she had instead of lawn chairs.  The hooks that had faithfully held the porch swing, still there but empty. The water tank for the horses that used to also be a home to goldfish.   The time Chief wanted to try Melvin's new motorcycle and ended up driving it straight into the trash barrel and crashing it. This turned the tears into laughter.  We have laughed about that for at least 25 years and probably will till we die.  Where the rabbit cages used to be.  We wiped tears and laughed and swore there never used to be a tree in a certain spot.  I looked at the hill where the hollyhocks used to grow and asked if it didn't used to be steeper.  Melvin said no, and I had to trust his memory more than my own.

This one was taken standing in the car port and looking East toward the highway.  In the summer the fence row up there is covered with honeysuckle.  The fence remains but all the gates made out of wagon wheels are all gone.  There used to be irises along the fence in front and no doubt they will bloom again this spring, perhaps unaware that they alone remain the same.  Whatever was left of the house has been cleaned up really well.  You would never know, could never fathom, the house that used to be there.  There was no cellar but there was a basement full of canned goodness from Nana's garden, shining like jewels when the sun hit them.  I could still see Chief in that field baling hay in the little square bales.  The tractor frequently broke down and how he could cuss when that happened!   It was more common to see him working on the tractor in that field than it was to see the bales rolling off like they were supposed to.  Something about twine and how you couldn't find parts anymore...........I guess that tractor was probably an antique even then.

These graduated cement blocks surrounded the outside of the shed on the back of the carport.  Rabbit cages used to line them on the yard side.  I remember being warned not to climb on them from my mother's fear that I would fall.  I did it anyway and did not fall, but never when my mother was there.  They seem much smaller now, with the lowest set being about shin high on me now.  That was the glory of Nana's.  We were often there together, us cousins, while our parents were gone or just inside and not paying attention.  I do not remember ever getting in trouble there, although we surely did.  I do remember a round picnic table, covered with contact paper, that my older cousins put me on once and spun me around until I threw up.  I was so sick I could hardly tell our parents that I had wanted them to do that to me.  It was even better than a merry-go-round!  What I remember is us getting called in to eat and myself making it as far as the screen door before I erped up everything that was in my stomach.  The adults asked what had happened and I told them but they interpreted my story as a mean trick the older boys had pulled on me.  It wasn't that way at all.  I asked for it.  I only remember my panic that my cousins would think I had sold them out and my mom almost getting me all the way into the bathroom before I could make it clear that it wasn't their fault.  That is the only time that I can remember anyone even coming close to getting in trouble at Nana's.

You can't go home again, I know.  And yet.  We were home.  We were together.  Nothing of this earth remains the same, but our memories make another kind of home.  As long as we are here together, nothing can ever take our memories.  I thank God that I have this time to be home, here, again.  With my family that I have been so far away from for so long, I will make new memories.  They will never overshadow my old ones, though.  This is hald of my foundation, my roots, and my future, all tied up together.  Nothing can ever take that away from any of us.  No fire, no rebuilding, no tornado, no storm.

Nana's legacy is us, not a house or a farm or even a carport where you might pull up only to find her in her underwear pulling clothes off the clothesline to put on.  In Lori's last days, she said to me "Let's go to Nana's", and I was surprised that she remembered.  She was a little miffed that I was surprised.  Lori said of course she remembered Nana's, because she was so welcoming and that being there was so relaxing.  All true, and I can only hope that each of us continues her tradition.  We are so very blessed to be part of this family, and need to do better to get together and remember her, and ourselves, the way we should.  We can not forget who we are, where we came from, or what is really important in life.  Nana runs through all of that, and all of us.  We will find our home in each other forever, and where ever location we might be in, a part of us will always be right there on that farm.  Sitting outside on the car port, drinking sweet tea, waiting for Nana to call us in to dinner.

Dec 20, 2014

Picking Your Battles............

Being a mother is not for the faint of heart.  It's a job that does not come with weekends, days off, or vacation.  It's a job that calls for decisions that are often deemed heartless by one's own offspring.  Sometimes you just have to stand your ground and wait for enough time to pass that they see the reasoning behind your "heartlessness" and thank you for it.  It's a tricky dance to ensure that your child is well taken care of, healthy, and happy.
In fact, happy is usually the hardest part. You spend a lot of time second guessing yourself, and sometimes it takes years before you know you did, or did not do, the right thing.
What makes our children happy sometimes breaks our hearts, scares us to death, enrages us, and can even drive us to despair.
Don't get worried, I am just talking about a shirt.  You would not think that just a shirt could put anyone through such anguish, unless you were a mother.
All my children had blankies as babies that gradually fell apart by the time the children were about 3.
I saved these blankies faithfully, even when there were only shreds of them left.
I felt it was the right thing to do.
Now, I know it was the right thing to do.  If you have ever seen your child's face light up when they see a long lost "friend" such as this, you know what I'm talking about.  If you haven't yet seen this, save the crap they love, even if it's gross.  Just do the best you can.  They can throw it away if they want.  It's theirs to throw, all in good time.
How could I throw away something my babies loved?
Throw away part of their security?  NEVER!
I carefully saved and packed away those blankies, or what was left of them, packed in plastic bags so that no bugs, no mold, no bad smells, would desecrate what meant so much to my children.
Lately, however, this particular battle has come back around to haunt me.
I offer the prosecution's exhibit 1.

I don't think this picture does justice to how bad of a shape this poor sweatshirt is in.
It used to be white.
It came into my youngest babies life when he was in 7th grade.
He wore it MUCH.
That was 5 years ago.
It's been through a lot with him.
Possibly the most important years of his life.
I have wrestled with getting rid of it for at least 3 years now.
He loves this sweatshirt as much as he loved his blankie when he was small.

Here is another shot against an off-white washing machine.
It certainly was worth whatever money I spent on it, I must admit.
Especially considering I undoubtedly bought it at a garage sale or a second hand shop.
It's lost it's shape.  It's a dingy gray now, no matter how much I bleach it, add baking soda to the laundry.
Oxiclean has no effect.
I've tried everything except dying it.
I draw the line here because 1) It might upset his delicate emotional balance as it relates to this shirt, and 2) I usually make a terrible mess of things like that and would probably end up with odd splotches of color for months on good clothes.
Believe me, it would happen.
It's lost it's shape.
It's cuffs are torn and tattered.
It hangs on him like a rag.
It has been a really good shirt.  Hollister, my hat is off to you.  Salute!
People might well think it has survived a terrible fire, barely.
I could not blame them for drawing this conclusion, but they would be wrong.
I would feel better if it had survived a terrible fire.
At least that would be a reasonable explanation.

It is getting too embarrassing for me to allow him to wear it anymore.
Can you see my point here?
I mean, I know he loves this shirt.
He has worn it without interruption except for the one time I tried to throw it away, about 2 years ago.
He found it in the trash and told me in no uncertain terms that it was his favorite sweatshirt and he could not live without it.
Could. Not. LIVE.
He felt betrayed that I had thrown it away.
I felt terrible.  I had betrayed him by throwing it away.  I was a bad mom!
But not as terrible as I did when he wore it to school..........
"What must people think of me?" I wondered.  The ego never dies, even if all you have left that you really care about is your laundry skills.  Menopause, the great apathetic state that can be soothing at times.
So when we moved I did not have the heart to throw it away again.
I saw it in the laundry the first week we were here.
 I lobbed that sucker up on top of a pile of cleaning rags in the laundry room.
I had peace of mind for about 2 weeks.
2 weeks that my poor Youngest Baby was frantic looking for his favorite sweatshirt.
He finally decided he had lost it in the move.  Or so I thought.
I thought I had won that battle.  
I consoled myself with the knowledge that I could give it back to him after he had acclimated himself to wearing the many good, warm, unstained, untorn sweatshirts that he has.  In his closet.  Anxiously waiting their turn to get to be worn.
They deserve a turn!!
It is a testament to either his love for this damn thing or just his stubborn, single-minded devotion to all things HIS that he looked until he found it.
I can assure you, he has never surveyed the rag pile before.
I had not won that battle.
I am such a fool.

So tonight, when I found it in the laundry again, (Drat!  Foiled again!) I said
"Youngest Baby?  This sweatshirt........I don't care if you keep it, but could you not wear it anymore?"
This brought a hearty round of laughter from the boys around my kitchen table playing the Magic game.
(The Magic game is some kind of game played with cards.....probably just as bad as video games but not video games, which puts me on the side of the Magic game.)
My Youngest Baby looked hurt.  My heart broke a little more.
His friends said they knew which shirt I spoke of.
They said he wore it to school.  My face got red.
I said it looked like orphan's rags.
He said that shirt had been through a lot with him.
I said I understood.
But then I begged him not to wear it in public anymore.
It's a work shirt, I said.
It's a perfect shirt to work on the car, or burn leaves, I said.
"If I can find another shirt exactly like it?  Would you quit wearing it then?"  I bargained.
He agreed to that.
So now I have a mission.  Possibly an impossible one.
I don't want my Youngest Baby to be unhappy.
I also cannot stand the embarrassment of him wearing this shirt in public ever again.
But I do not have the heart to make that happen because it would hurt him too much.
For whatever reason, this shirt has taught me a lesson.
I am not nearly as tough as I like to pretend.
Oh, I can talk the talk.
I can talk it all day long.
In fact, I am pretty convincing.
But my babies are just as sentimental as I am, and I am proud of that.
In the end, embarrassed as I am that people either think I'm so poor my children have to wear the same clothes endlessly for 5 years at a time, or that I never wash their clothes (which of those 2 things are worse, exactly???) I am a big, old, push over.
At least when it comes to my babies and the things (disgusting as they may sometimes be) that mean a lot to them.
I am not heartless, and this is a good thing.
But do you think people know that?  Or do they just think I'm filthy?
Does this really matter?
All that matters is that I have finally found a way to compromise.
My youngest baby gets to keep the shirt.
In fact, I may frame it.
At least that way he won't wear it anymore.
What's a mother to do when her child's heart is involved?
It's just a shirt.  What's left of a shirt.
Much more bleach and it will surely disintegrate, right?  But that would kill him.
I guess I will look for a frame, and another sweatshirt just like it.

Dec 7, 2014

Update of Winter Garden....

It has been cold here.  The pansy's I planted outside have some ice on them this morning.  It will be almost 60 today though.  It is warm, and they are snuggled down in a protective layer of leaves.

They are doing fine, considering they looked like this a few weeks ago.  I got this basket at the Heart and Home Tea Room, and put it in the ground so that this spring it will be full of flowers.

Inside, my bulbs that burst forth so fast are flagging.  I am keeping them moist but I think it's been too cold and they have not had enough sunshine.  I almost moved them to the porch the other day, but then thought better of it.  I think it is always better to let them struggle and make it on their own.  I KNOW that it gives better grapes, so we will see if they rally or linger or what.

On the 23rd of November I ran across some seeds for herbs and flowers and thought I'd plant some just to see if they would do anything this winter in the old retreat around the garden tub.  There is a Habitat for Humanity Restore where I found a bunch of flower pots and baskets for $1 each, so I grabbed a bunch and put in Four O'Clock seeds from Paula I've had for years, Rosemary, Thyme, Green Onions (because the ones I transplanted died in the pot.  So I bought another bunch and will drag the jelly jar back out), and Mustard.
So far, I have Four O'Clock's coming up in the beige pot pictured above.  They get pretty big, almost a bush, and produce the prettiest flowers that open in the late afternoon and close in the mornings.  Hopefully these will be ready to transplant outside as good sized plants this spring.
That, at least, is my hope.  They may not make it, we will just have to see.  That is why I only planted a few of each.  If I get a head start in the spring great.  If nothing makes it till then, I tried but still have plenty of seeds left.

In this snazzy red pot, look who has popped up.
Thyme.  Common Thyme.
Thyme for courage.
Associated with treating uterine (women's) issues
Also a cure for whooping cough.
Thyme thrives best with plenty of room to spread out.
Much like women themselves.

How cool is that?

Nov 21, 2014

I Know A Place.......

I love the area we live in now.  We live in a town, but in the country.  It doesn't take more than 20 minutes to get to a town with stores, but just about 7 miles up the road from our new house is a cafe that it hurts me to pass and not stop at.   At the junction of highway 59 and 86 in Neosho, Missouri, just across the road from the 86 Super Store, is a little house is called the Heart and Home Tea Room.

I had seen the sign from the highway that said Heart and Home Cafe now open (!!) courtesy of a banner outside, but was hesitant to assume that this cute little house was a business.  I didn't know, so I drove by several times, slowly, checking it out.  I have always loved the houses made from stone down here, and I think this house put a spell on me from the highway.

I finally decided to stop one day when I saw some cars there.  There is a lot to see.  The yard is full of plants and statues and really cool stuff to see.  The more you look, the more you see that you want to look at more closely.  Like a bed and breakfast usually is on the inside, the Heart and Home Tea Room is on the outside, too.

And it was a house, but now it's a business.   A business which I think will be very successful!!   How can I begin to describe this wonderful little place?  Well, you can get breakfast and lunch there Tuesday thru Friday.  It's also a shop, and almost everything you see, both outside and inside, is also for sale.  Lots of decor, wreaths, old wire baskets, candles, baskets, I could go on, but you get the idea.

They are located in an area that is just perfect for me, and I assume everybody else who lives just outside the zone where there are lots of restaurants, which is several hundred people.  If only they were open for dinner I would be perfectly happy, but making food this good can only go on so long, so by 2 every afternoon, it's over, and if you haven't gotten your pie, it's too late.  I have known places like this before, and it's always the way it goes.

When I say there is more to see everywhere you look, I am not kidding.  I noticed these quirky little additions to the sidewalk on my first visit.  I thought there was just one.

But no, these charming little trinkets are sprinkled throughout.....I smiled as they brought to mind grandma's, small children, and memories of button boxes.

It was hard to even look up, to tell the truth.  This house is of gray and yellow stones and it has a charming dignity.  It gives the impression of being both well grounded and well loved.

I gazed around and hoped people weren't staring at me from inside, but there was so much to take in!  It's gorgeous.

I wondered if the fence sections were for sale.

I've always been a sucker for angels, and there are several here.

The more you look, the more you see.

This sweet green door is the entrance, if you can tear yourself away long enough to go inside.  You should.  It gets better.

It's unpretentious and straight forward.  Every inch of space has been utilized and they know no strangers here.  Once in that door you will be welcomed like you are related, visited with and urged to make yourself at home, look around, pick a seat and come back when you are ready.  Or, if your food is ready before you get back they will come getcha.

Inside I moved slowly, just taking everything in.  Linda, the proprietress, made me feel so welcome and I had just ordered the special after a lengthy conversation with her about broccoli salads and the like.  To be honest, I'm just going to say that the first time I ate there I was blown away.  They have real food there, you guys. REAL FOOD.  Like your grandma made.  Maybe better.  I swear on all that is holy to me, they have better coconut cream pie than even my dear Nana, and it does pain me just a little to say that. But it's the truth.  Maybe it's just been so long since I had Nana's that I forgot.  All I know is this pie is memorable and to my mind, it approaches sacredness.

That pie has kept me awake at night on more than one occasion.  It really is that good.

As long as I'm being honest I'll go ahead and throw in that I have eaten there 3 times and have yet to look at the menu.  I wanted to, because I knew I was going to do this post, but I just never did get around to it.  There is always something new to see and there was just another grandbaby born and well, there is lots to catch up on.  Besides, the special has always been so good that I can't imagine anything better.  In this way good cooks keep you coming back.

One of my favorite things is when nothing matches.  It's full of eclectic, practical furniture.  Maybe it came with the house.  Maybe it was the first set that someone's parents had.  Maybe it was just a chair one of the kids drug home from college and would never take away.  You don't know but you would like to the hear the story.  Maybe that's just me.
The food is straight up down home with a little class, and the atmosphere is very welcoming.  I do not believe you will ever see instant mashed potatoes on a plate here.  In fact, I would be shocked.  The broccoli soup is good enough to have every time.  Very rich, creamy and there are croutons and bacon bits that are chewy.  I've had it every time and have wondered how much they would charge for an entire crock pot full.  I could marry that soup.

The first day I brought a book but never read any of it.  You can see why, even from here.  Every shelf has something else that draws the eye.  I wandered through the rooms and kind of hated to come back and sit down.

This is the room I always eat in.  So far.  I usually end up in conversation with some of the other patrons.  Mostly working men and older ladies who lunch.  Presumably on their way to town, I haven't found out where they are going yet, but I'm sure before long I will.  There is also 1 regular guy that I know of.  He has his own place to sit.  I don't think he would throw you out if you sat there, but you would never be invited to sit there.  I am pretty sure it's his place.  Linda's daughter was expecting a baby boy any day and her son-in-law wandered in last time I was there.  He told the ladies that it wasn't here yet, but it was a boy, and that he was done.  "God hears you!" I sang out.  He looked over and smiled.  I told him that's how I got twins.  I fully expect their 3rd child to be a girl.  I think she should be named for me.  :D  Anyway, I'm wandering around the place, and there are 3 different rooms you can eat in.  If you are an adult.

Or I guess just have tea.  I am assuming they have tea also since I've yet to see the menu, but I will make a point to study it the next time I'm there.   But there is plenty of choice in where you sit, should you desire to have lunch without random conversation from newcomers to the area, however prophetic it may turn out to be.  Ahem.

Birdhouses, candles, angels.  She's 3 for 3 with me and stuff I like.  I think the odds of you finding something you want are good.  You have been warned.  I said there were 3 rooms you could eat in if you are an adult for a reason, because there is another room.........

And when I say room, I mean, explosion of girly-ness.  Squared.

 This room tore my attention away from baskets and crucifixes that are displayed in the closet in the hallway.

And kept my attention for awhile.  I had to turn around and just take it all in.

Turns out one of their services is tea parties for little girls.  Parties.  That sort of thing.  And if you don't have anything to wear, well, that is not a problem.  It never is among girlfriends, is it girls?  No.  There is plenty to choose from.  Just come right on over.

I don't think you can actually take a bath, but it would just ruin the feathers anyway.  I mean, look at this room you guys!!

So I am thinking that I may be attending some parties in this room in the future, surrounded by little princesses who love me.  I see Charli having one of her first birthday parties here.  Yes, I did say "one of".  You drive right past this house to get to mine--We're having a party there!!  Also, Abigail is 6 now, and I feel the time is short for her princess obsession.  We must make the most of it!  Rosie, she is just the perfect age and will be for a couple years still, so yes, I see lots of tea parties.  Look at that cuteness!!!

Now, this is in the bathroom.  It's a very cool bathroom.  It has a chair where you can picture yourself just coming in and locking the door and collapsing.  Or maybe that's just me, but it's very inviting and comfortable.  The sink kind of steals the show, but there is lots to see here too.  I could spend hours in there!

But that would be rude so of course I didn't.  Actually I don't think I could have anyway because at least one lady came in either specifically to see it and a lengthy conversation was had right there in the bathroom and hallway about it.  It's that kind of place.

Even the old rusty trowels are well loved here.  This one sits in the basket of the bicycle sink that's not going anywhere.  But it did once....this is the kind of house that makes you wonder where it went when it could still go.  Or maybe it's a reproduction.  I don't know the difference, and that's part of the charm.  You should stop by and check it out.  Let it cast it's spell on you.  It's that kind of place.

You can find the website here, oh!  and a menu!!!  :D
You will be very happy you did, or my name's not Melinda Moss.  Heart and Home Tea Room

Nov 16, 2014

First Snow of the Season......

We had our first snow of the season today.
We were burning the last of the boxes when it started.
The momma cows with their babies have been moved into the hay field that just got mowed and baled a couple of weeks ago.  
They are there, day and night, noting my presence each time I come out the front door.
They warn me with their eyes to stay away from their babies.
Their babies often run about and make me smile.
As you can see, we got some frost out on the pumpkin.

I can't believe my brother said I was optimistic for bringing 2 snow shovels.
When will he learn that I know a few things, too?  :D
We spent the rest of the day with good food in a warm house.
The fireplace is going.
Enjoy your first snow and accept the fact that winter is here again.
You might as well.
It will be here for the next 6 months.
I hope I get to keep the company of the cows.

Nov 11, 2014

Winter's Here! Retreat........

One of the things I am most excited about in this new house is the garden tub.  I like it even more than the dishwasher, which really cannot be measured by any device known to man.  I thought about what to do with the counter area around it.  It's quite a lot of space.  There were a bunch of baskets with fake greenery in them when we got here but I changed that quickly.  With the skylight this area gets a lot of natural light every day.  It's warm in here.  Aaaaannnndddd all the flower pots and gardening stuff and nurseries were having great sales a couple of weeks ago.  So........

I grabbed several pansy's and some bulbs.  Tulips, Hyacinths, Muscari, Jonquils......

I planted them down under the pansy's, it was kinda crowded, and do you know, they started coming up?

This was a week after I had gotten everything planted.  I was delighted!!
Then I grabbed my green onions that I always keep going in my kitchen window, just in the water?  
And I tucked them in too.  Then, I saw some Lamb's Ear growing in the yard, and I found a pot for it too.  There is lots of good stuff growing in your yard too.  Start noticing it, identifying it and digging it up for little pots if you have a place for any.

During this time, I ordered a beginner's guide to wild flowers and herbal medicines.  And then I used some ginger to make my hot toddy mix, so I threw it in a pot also, because it's another thing that it's crazy to buy when you can just throw in a pot of dirt.  Like cabbage!

I didn't take a picture of that, but just look at all the stuff coming up in my bathroom!!
Oh, and I grabbed an Aloe Vera plant on sale for 1/2 price too, because, well, Aloe Vera.  Everybody needs that!  All the time!

In between I put some oil lamps that are too fragile to risk anywhere else in the house, some housewarming presents, and some of my oldest, dearest pretty bowls and possessions.  Things that have moved with me every time since I left home.  Things that have always had a place in my home and always will.  Precious things to me.

Then I read about teas and infusions in my beginner's book and decided to save my petals.  They can dry right there and I found some good jars with lids and stoppers at a Habitat for Humanity Restore that's near me.

So while winter may have arrived, it isn't going to change a thing in my bathroom.  I have stuff to keep me busy all winter.  In fact, there were some raised flower pot holders at a flea market I was at the other day.  I may go back for them, because I can do all my spices in here too.

 It's starting to feel like home.  And it smells wonderful!!!  It's easy to water and clip and sort all right here, from the tub.  I know it sounds a little crazy, but when isn't life a little crazy?  It's a great pay off and will continue to be throughout a long winter.  

No telling how big this may get.  I can't wait to start the book either, and I can do that in the tub too.  :D
I have an imaginary friend who's always saying to bloom where you're planted.  I think I'm gonna check that one off my list!