Saturday, July 30, 2011

What's In A Name

My Mom gave all of my siblings and I very interesting names - mostly Biblical/Hebrew.  She told us from the time we were all little of how she prayed about all of our names, and the meanings of our names.

 But I think, more than all of them, I have the weirdest name of them all.

 You have no idea how my name - "Hosanna" - has been butchered over the years.

 Just yesterday I was called "Havana"at the Post Office and then the computer repair guy wrote it down as "Joseanna" - like some kind of feminine form of "Jose". I get that a lot - along with people assuming that I am Spanish. It has to be the tan - or my dark eyes? I don't know, but much of the time I get asked if I am Spanish. Which isn't surprising, as my Mom was always presumed to be Cuban when we lived in Florida because of her olive skin and dark hair/eyes. 

 There  is a neighbor that has always called me "Hannah" forever and I just play along with it. As long as there is not another Hannah in the room to be confused with.

 I remember being a part of a summer reading program at the local library when I was in grade school and when someone asked me for my name to write out on a certificate for reading a bunch of books, they didn't believe my name was "Hosanna" and wrote, instead, "Roseanna" even after I spelled my name out for them.
I've been called Roseanna on many other  occasions and I just smile and nod. Smile and nod.......

 And growing up in Church was really awful, as you can imagine; I was constantly greeted by people singing some song or another with "hosanna" in the chorus or verse. It made me want to seriously stab my eye with a fork.

 When I was showing horses frequently in my teens and early 20s, the show announcers almost always botched my name. If they got the first part right, they'd botch my last name - which was Pennell at the time. I was a different name at every show. I'd be sitting there, on my horse, baking in my black hunt jacket, velvet hunt cap, and tall black boots, and groan as they called me in for my prize.
"And in second place.... Hos.... Jose..... Hus-anna............Penel." OR, "Hose-ann Peeeenayle".
Finally I started using my middle name and was just plain "Joy" at horse shows.  At least, I figured, they could get that part right.

 When my brothers started having kids, and they started talking, they'd always stumble over the mouthful of "Aunt Hosanna" so eventually my official name for the kids in my life (7 that I see frequently) became "Zanna". This worked out great for all of the kids, except my niece Emilie, who is now 4. She would not - or could not - say "Zanna" or anything like "Zanna" so when she started talking, she simply called me "Kevin" - my husband's name. She'd come over to my house and say something like "Hey, Aunt Kebin? Kin I pet that kitty?"
I would explain: "Yes, you may. But, my name is 'Zanna'. Can you say  'Zanna'?"
Emilie, mumbling: "Aunt Zanna".
"Yep! That's my name."
 "Hey, Aunt Kebin........................?"

Sometimes the kids will try my whole name on for size. Then it's something like "HOSE-anna" or "Hoseyanna".

My close friends call me "Hos" (like "hose"), or "Hosie".

 In addition to the strange pronunciations of my name, I get strange looks and blank stares when I introduce myself to someone I have never met before. The head tilts of inquiry.

 So while I do like having an unusual name, it does come with certain "issues".

 That is why, should I ever produce offspring, I think I will go with names like..... "Mary". And "Ed". Or names with easier to pronounce nicknames.

Yeah. Plan carefully when choosing names for your children, parents.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Want To Buy: Vintage Wash Tub

Last summer I answered a CL ad for some vintage metal lawn chairs; and when I went to purchase them, the man also had a vintage double washstand on his front porch. It looked much like this one (found on eBay classifieds for the El Dorado area) except, it was white enamel.


 At the time I was just beginning to explore "garden salvage" and wasn't sure if I could use the wash stand; which the owner offered to me for only $20. Looking back I could kick myself for not snatching it up.

 Now I wish I had it, so I could do things like this with it:



 (Photos found on Flikr)

 So now I am in the market for one.

Monday, July 25, 2011

How My Garden Grows

So, chickens may not be my thing, but gardening is much more tolerable.

While my dreams of gathering eggs in a vintage sundress and apron may have never come true, (See the link above) I have, in fact, gathered veggies and herbs in a sundress and apron. On several occasions.

As I have said before, I am not a natural born gardener; I kill a lot of plants with my ignorance, and everything I do keep alive is only because of what I have learned in books, magazines, and mostly on the Internet.

 So this year, instead of just going and buying plants in the spring, I decided I was going to start my own from seeds.
 I did tomatoes, and that was a huge fail. Out of all the packages of seed I started in the very late winter/early spring, I have two plants growing. The rest of my tomato patch is from plants I purchased after my failed seedling attempt.

I also started peppers, which are a little late, but thriving beautifully.

 And, I saved basil seeds from last years crop and re-planted the seeds this spring, and to my amazement, they grew, and I have been enjoying basil from the plants for some months.

 I also have dahlias, zinnias, and marigold I planted from seeds given to me by a friend who saved them from her plants. So that was pretty cool.

 Also started from seeds, kinda accidentally, was my pumpkin patch; which resulted from my dumping of the rotten harvest decor pumpkins off of my front porch in the garden, where they sat all winter, and in the chilly early spring, popped up in globs. I transplanted them into rows, and had very healthy pumpkin vines all over. Last week I harvested them, cooked and pureed them and now they're in my freezer waiting to go  into pies, bread, and roulade.

 I kina got overly excited about my garden, after the cold winter; and I planted all kinds of stuff: broccoli, cabbage, spinach, Swiss chard, lettuce, onions, and carrots for my early garden; a lot of which is in the freezer already.


 I also planted green beans, the previously mentioned tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash,and a whole field of red potatoes. That was Kevin's idea. Plus, I get okra from our friend. Our corn didn't make it. For some weird reason....

 We're getting everything from friends; three people we know have "too much garden" and we're getting buckets full from them and buckets full from ours, and giving buckets full away, and canning buckets full.

 I kid you not.

 My enclosed back porch is stacked with buckets, crates, and bushel baskets, waiting to be canned or given away.

 Most mornings you can find me in the garden weeding, hoeing, picking, and watering along with my feline garden buddies.
 Most afternoons - even during the recent heat wave - I can be found in the kitchen - washing, snapping, chopping, mixing, stuffing, boiling, peeling,  blanching, and more than anything, sweating and wilting.


 Of course we've been eating it as fast as we can as well..... BLT, tomato pie, tomato sandwiches, stuffed tomatoes, home made salsa, cucumber salad, cucumber chicken salad, squash and zucchini on the grill, oven fried okra, and anything else we can think of.

There is something very fulfilling about walking out to the garden - whether or not I am wearing a vintage sundress and apron - picking vegetables straight off the plant, walking back into the kitchen, and making them into a meal.
It is also satisfying to look at a plate of food and know where every item came from - because I grew and butchered them with my own two hands. (Or my husband's two hands; as he is in charge of the  butchering that gets done.)

I certainly have gained an appreciation for the women of yesteryear and all they did to make sure their families were fed; when there were no grocery stores, farmer's markets or roadside stands to buy food from; or if there was, there was no money to buy food with.

(This is a group of about five tomatoes that grew together in a mass.)

 In the next few weeks I'll be getting my fall plots ready; with more broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, carrots, cauliflower, and whatever else can be planted in the fall. Plus our field of "salad greens".

 And all winter long we'll be enjoying Summer from a jar.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Baby It's HOT Outside!



 I know it's been hot just about everywhere and these photos just make me feel hotter, but they sure are fantastic pieces!

 It was about 100 in my spot in Virginia yesterday, and 104 when I drove through Raleigh, NC in the late afternoon. We hopped in the pool (an in ground one) around 7 pm and the water was 90 degrees!

 I really love summer and hot weather, but even so, it's been hot - hot this week. I confess I had a teeny weeny little thought about fall yesterday. It was a very wee little thought; and passed so quickly I don't even know if it was a full thought.

 I hear that the heat is going to break today; but we'll see.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Whoops. I forgot.


 I forgot to include this vintage style 2-piece bathing suit in my finds of the day post. As soon as I saw it, I thought of my Grandmother; because this reminds me of something she made, and that I saw in some stack of snapshots of my Mom, or my Aunt, on Cocoa Beach in the late 50s - 60s. The material is not stretchy bathing suit material; it's almost like a cotton blend and very sturdy. Cute! And, my size. :)

Finds Of The Day....

My work usually is all done from home; but from time to time entails me having to sit with an elderly person for many hours at a time. For the past few days, it's been 12 hour shifts for me.
 Much of my time is employed by caring for the needs of the persons I am sitting with, fixing and serving meals, cleaning, etc.
But, much of the time is also "idle" time,  when I usually read a book, work on my embroidery projects,  or watch movies  from my Netflix account on my laptop.
Which I have been doing the past few days, so bored I have been with my John Grisham novel. (Funny how seeing the movie of the book, while in the middle of reading the book, takes all interest out of finishing the book.....)
I have been watching far too many of those depressing, sad, 1900s - 1920s costume dramas. The costumes take my breath away, but the hopeless love triangles, the unrequited love, the penniless girls forced to marry rich men they do not love, while forsaking their true feelings, all for the sake of "being taken care of"; the cruel relatives, the sad endings...........
Yeah.  I needed a break.

I got a chance to run into my favorite thrift shop on a quick break and I scored some fantastic stuff! They never fail me.


I think I  will  make a fabric flower pin for this awesome clutch before I list it on Etsy. 

This one is not vintage; but the gold purse frame and the blue and gold brocade were stunning. I am going to put a different handle on it, and doll it up with some vintage brooches or something.


I've seen shoes just like these for sale in the Victorian Trading Co. catalogs. They don't fit me; alas....

I have been noticing the comeback of small prints like these recently. I think they're cute! This is a purpley floral print dress that was handmade. What you can't see it how the neckline is attached with some little darts. (I don't sew, but that's what I think they're called.) I plan on wearing it with a cute belt. It will also be cute with a cardigan in the fall!

 And lastly, a vintage linen table cloth with a cute yellow and blue stripe; that I might just cut up to make a curtain valance in my kitchen.

 I also looking forward to getting back to my normal working schedule after today, and having some time to ride my horses and relax in the pool again!

Stay cool everybody! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Shabby Chic Tote Bag





 Done with mostly vintage trims and scraps; including a piece of an old doily, scraps from a 40s chinelle bedspread, lace, and the handles are part of a ripped up dinner napkin that had holes in the middle but not the edge.

 I am trying to decide if I am going to sell this on Etsy or hang on to it for awhile. (It's a little pink for my personal taste in handbags.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


What would you do with a single, lonely "Simply Shabby Chic" (Rachael Ashwell's Target line) place mat?

 I came upon one the other day at the Goodwill - it even has the tag (sticker) still on it.



Well, I came up with a plan to use it in a project. Here's a hint:



 Stay tuned for the final result in a few days.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Individual Lasagnas

I looked in my fridge the other evening wondering what to make for dinner. I had a little of this and a little of that but not enough to make a whole dish..... then I remembered something I saw a chef do on TV recently.

I had a partial box of lasagna noodles; a half head of cauliflower, starting to decay a bit; a half container of ricotta cheese, two chicken tenderloins, and ramekin dishes I've only ever used for creme brulee.

So I made this.




 Individual Chicken Lasagnas - 4 servings

4 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
 1/2 cup cooked chicken, diced
 1/2 cup cauliflower florets, diced
2 Tbsp. diced onion
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
Cooking spray

Heat oven to 350.

 Saute the onion and cauliflower together in a little olive oil until browned. Add chicken and remove from heat; set aside.

Mix the ricotta and mozzarella cheese with the Italian seasoning; set aside.

 Spray 4 ramekins with the cooking oil and place on a baking sheet.

 Place one end lasagna noodle inside the dish, letting the rest of the noodle drape out. Spoon a spoon full (a couple Tablespoons worth) of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodle and fold the rest of the noodle back over it to cover. Next, spoon in several Tbsp. of the chicken mixture; top with a pinch of the Parmesan. Fold the noodle back over, and spread with more ricotta mixture, and then fold the rest of the way over, topping with a generous pinch of the Parmesan.

 Repeat with all the ramekins. You'll have leftover filling; I did. If you want to continue with it and make more do so.

 Bake for 20 minutes until bubbly and cheese on top is slightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. To serve, turn the lasagnas out onto a plate.

( I found it to be a tad dry; so next time I plan on spooning some Alfredo sauce over the lasagnas after turning them out onto a plate, before serving.)


Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Silly Niece ...

I try not to bore you readers with too many photos of the kids in my life - my nieces and nephews. I try not to irritate you with stats on the kids; or the cute things they say/do/wear/make; or their smarty britches achievements  - like when Ethan's baseball team was undefeated this season? I didn't even mention it.  Nor do I mention when certain ones of them get killer grades, or do awesome school projects. Just like I never mention that my sister made the Dean's list at Regent University and that she is testing to get into law school this fall...... nah, I just don't go there. (Winky winky....) 

 Except once in a while when the awesomeness of my brother's kids forces me to post photos of them, and mention them here.

 Like my oldest niece, Abi. She's 10 years old. (Geeez that makes me feel old.......) She loves drama and singing and acting and she is talented at it.

 She was  in the cast of "Annie" last summer; a huge production in our town compete with an orchestra.

 She's been in other plays; including "Godspell"; "101 Dalmations", and others.

 And this past spring, she had the LEADING ROLE in another play...... which I can't remember the name of. Ooops.

 Anyway - this past 4th of July weekend, we had our usual huge family shindig at my brother's house, and I, of course, took tons of photos of the kids. When I got home and started sorting out the pics, I noticed something....





She's going to kill me for this.

 Tee hee.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Etsy Shop Update: New Jewelry

I haven't been paying much attention to my shops recently; because I have been so busy gardening and tinkering in the yard and helping in the hayfield, and those kinds of summertime things.... meanwhile, I have been hoarding away some pretty nifty jewelry. I finally decided I needed to let it go; I never wear these pieces anyway. Click on the links below each photo to read more details or buy.

Love this turquoise jewelry box. Not for sale, though. :)

 Vintage Luzier Perfume Compact Necklace

Sarah Coventry, with issues.

 Milk Glass Clip Ons

 Faux marcasite and cameo necklace

 Antique 14 karat rolled gold plate ring

1928 Jewelry Co. Style brooch

 Purple and lavender beaded necklace

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Demise of Cupcakes











 All photos were taken at our family's big 4th of July picnic held at my brother's house; where cupcakes abounded.

I Want This Dress.

I am not a Royal Watcher. But I saw a clip about William and Kate's tour of Canada and one of the dresses she was pictured in stopped me in my tracks and dropped my jaw.


 It is so 1930s.

 I want it.