Monday, April 24, 2023

April Days

Hello everyone -- I hope you had a good weekend!  It's been a few weeks since I've posted because we have been busy.  We had a nice Easter, and I hope you did, too.  We enjoyed Easter lunch at my in-laws' house, and Hal's maternal uncle was there with us, too.  It was so nice to see everyone.  We had a Honeybaked Ham, creamed corn, green beans, a gelatin salad, rolls, and deviled eggs.  I made a lemon loaf pound cake for dessert, and it seemed to be a big hit.  
  As is usual with me, most of the glaze ran off the cake onto the plate.  Sigh.  I even let the cake cool overnight before I put the glaze on.  Next time, I need to make the glaze about the thickness of icing.  I made a topping of coarse-grain sugar and lemon zest to sprinkle over top of the cake.  This was my first time to make this recipe, and it's definitely a keeper.   I plan to share the recipe for this cake in a future post.
The day after Easter, we left for Oak Island to spend the week.  It was so nice to get away and get a change of scenery.  We totally relaxed; we ate, slept, and read for four whole days.  I didn't take a single picture or look at my laptop while we were there.  The weather was nice the whole time, and we sat on the screened porch and listened to the birds and read our books -- pure bliss.  We saw this fellow from the porch one day; he was crossing the fairway and dodging golf balls.  😊
  Of course, things got busy again as soon as we got home.  We've had an ongoing battle here since Thanksgiving -- about four and a half months now.  We've had ants, those little, tiny ones in the kitchen and bathrooms, and folks, they've about driven us nuts!!  They make me crazy, and then I fuss about them until it makes Hal crazy.  We're practically on a first-name basis with every service person at our pest control company by now.  We've tried everything, and this past week, they finally sent the service manager out here.  He seems to have found the problem outside and where they were coming into the house, so I hope we're going to be good now.  We haven't seen any more activity in the kitchen since he left on Tuesday, and I'm really hoping things will go back to normal now.  
I wanted to share a few small changes I've made in the house recently.  First of all, I finally got some pictures framed and hung.  It's a big deal to me when we get pictures framed; we all know how expensive that is, right?  Sometimes I keep pictures for years before I get around to having them framed.  

I finally got these botanicals framed and filled this empty space on the left side of my china cabinet.  I've had these botanicals for ten years at least; I found them on e-bay not long after I started writing my blog.  They were book plates cut from a book, and they were painted by Pierre-Joseph Redouté, a painter and botanist from Belgium.  

I took down a big picture that hung over the small chest to the right of the window and replaced it with these two plates.  The plates were a gift from my sister several years ago.  Please excuse the lighting in these pictures; this room is so hard to photograph, and the walls look different colors half the time.  You can see what I mean in the picture below.  I can't wait to get the interior of our house painted.

This is what the corner of the room looked like for the whole 26 years we've lived in this house.  That blank wall next to the china cabinet has always bugged me, but I wanted to wait until I could hang what I really wanted there, so the spot stayed empty.

I like it so much better now.

I was ready for a new look.  😊

Here are two more of the botanicals from e-Bay.  I framed them myself (no matting) and hung them here after we had our kitchen remodeled.  I have so enjoyed seeing them here.  I knew I wanted to hang two more in the dining room, but I wanted to have them professionally matted and framed.  I never thought it would take so long to get that accomplished.

We also got this lower picture framed at the same time as the two botanicals.  

This is a watercolor of Biltmore House at Christmas (in the snow) that our son gave us a few years ago.  I tried to get it framed during the first Covid outbreak, but Hobby Lobby did not have any wooden frames in stock at the time, and they didn't know when they would get more in.  I gave up for a year, and when I tried back, they had a good selection, and we were able to find what we wanted.  We're really pleased with the way this turned out.  

The painting above Biltmore is of Chateau Chambord in France.  My in-laws visited the chateau many years ago, and I always admired this picture in their home.  When they moved, my mother-in-law gave the picture to us.  I just love it.

The picture on the secretary is the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.  We toured this beautiful building in 2020, and I wrote about it here and here.  The colonials gave it the derogatory name of "palace" because it was so ornate at a time when the British were levying heavy taxes on the colonists.  This small painting is actually a greeting card -- one of five cards we received from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation after visiting there.  We didn't feel inclined to send a donation since we had spent quite a bit while there on food and souvenirs.  😏  I do hope to return someday, as there are more things in Williamsburg that I'd like to see.  However, I digress.  I love using pretty cards as artwork; most of the time no one knows the difference unless you tell them.

These are the other four cards; one is in a frame because I'm displaying it in the den.  I love this artist's watercolors!

The last thing I'm sharing today is a chair that I found at a consignment store in Greensboro, N.C.
  We had visited our son and on the way home decided to stop in at "The Red Collection."  I've found several good bargains there over the years, but I had no intention of buying anything that day.  However, I spotted this chair in the window as we were walking in, and the price was so good, I made an impulse purchase.  My husband calls it "retail therapy."  

What really sealed the deal for me was this carved bee on the chair back.  I've never seen anything like this on furniture before, but it doesn't look amateurish to me.  What do you think?  I tried to find a similar chair online just so I could learn something about it, but there was nothing.  I like the chair and we like the way it looks in our living room, so that's really all that matters.  It looks to have been newly re-upholstered.  I wouldn't have necessarily chosen this fabric, but the green is the same shade of green in our sofa fabric and our rug, so it works.  

Thanks for letting me ramble on today; I will have some shorter posts coming up soon.  I hope you're enjoying a beautiful spring in your part of the world.  Thanks so much for visiting here today and have a great week!!  
I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for "Metamorphosis Monday,".  


  1. A wonderful post. Thank you for sharing you photos of the pictures. I enjoy seeing the results of your "retail therapy." It is a lovely chair! Cathy

  2. A lovely chair. Those botanicals look good on that space next to the hutch. Love the Biltmore at Christmas artwork. Pretty. Happy Spring to you.

  3. Hi Denise! I laughed when you said that you and the ants were on a first name basis! I hope the problem is finally solved.
    Your newly framed botanicals look beautiful in your dining room! I love your new new chair, too. What a unique find!
    I wish I could go back to Williamsburg, too. Did I ever tell you that’s where Rich and I went for our honeymoon?
    I hope you have a great week and thank you so much for visiting my blog ❤️

  4. I grew up near Williamsburg and almost moved there.
    Regarding those ants ! Terror works best. A little tube found in hardware stores.
    When I saw your lovely chair I thought of the two brothers on the Antique Road Show.
    Nice detail on the back.

    1. I love Williamsburg, Myrna! Do you still live nearby? The sales tax in Colonial Williamsburg was so high, we couldn't afford to live there. Yikes! :D Strangely enough, I thought of the two twin brothers on Antiques Roadshow, as well. They might tell me that unless I got the chair for free, I paid too much for it, LOL. I would like to know something about its provenance, though. Thanks for your visit!

  5. Oh ants! I fight the battle, too. I always start with outdoor treatment and it seems to do the job.

    Love all the framed art. I have had only one piece professionally framed and it was so costly that I will never do it again. My daughter, on the other hand, has had many pieces professionally framed, mostly of her father's paintings and her own.

    Sounds as if time away was delightful. Good to get "deprogrammed" from time to time.

  6. Hello Denise, I hear you about the ant problem, pesty little critters. Paul buys these ant traps. Sometimes they come in. A pain to get rid of them. The botanicals are lovely. The chair is lovely, I can see why it caught your fancy. Your Lemon pound cake looks delicious. We love lemon. Happy May. Hugs

  7. That blank wall would have bugged me too. As it is, I have a blank wall about 20' long in my lower level, and no idea what to do. I love the rich combination of colors on your table. Purple and green is a favorite combination of mine. The next time you glaze a cake, why not leave the cake on the cooling rack and glaze it there? (Be sure to put waxed paper underneath.) Then you can move it to a glaze-free serving plate.



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