Monday, February 29, 2016

Painted pots, Spring Flowers and Crocheted Baskets

Over the weekend, I found these little 
mini-daffodils and some shapely terra-cotta pots
at my local home-goods store. 

The pots were nothing special in their original 
state, but after a coat of gray latex porch and floor paint, 
they took on a charming air. 

I painted them inside and out to seal them against moisture, 
placing the daffodils, still in their pots, inside, 
and covered all with moss. 

Latex porch and floor paint is very durable and 
dries quickly. Be sure that your pots are absolutely
dry before applying paint. 

I have had very good results painting pots 
this way. 

These pots were painted last year with 
green and they still look beautiful. 

I filled these with potting soil and actually 
planted the pansies inside. 

I live in a very wet climate, (near Seattle) and there hasn't 
been any problems with the paint. 

The plants don't seem to suffer any ill effects. 

The little truck was found in the garden
and once belonged to my now 30-something son :)

A female Anna's hummingbird visits the feeder. 

A male is next. The dark patch under his chin
shines brilliant fuchsia in sunlight. 

Anna's are year-round residents here in WA State. 
And no, it's not because I feed them. 
I only noticed them one January day when 
my long empty feeder was 
visited by a hungry Anna's, several years ago.
When I did some research, I found that they
live here year-round. 

We also have migrating Rufous Hummingbirds. 
They have already come back and are staking out territories
for nesting and doing their sky-diving courtship dance. 

One of their favorite nectar sources is already blooming;
Indian Plum.  We make sure to encourage all native 
blooming plants and trees on the property. 

My captured angel hides behind two 
potted Lemon Cyprus trees with 
Creeping Charlie, also in painted pots. 

The lantern has battery powered mini-lights inside
with a timer :)

Whitey Bear relaxes nearby. 

The potted shrubs are budding sweetly. 

From my kitchen door.....

My flowers make me happy :)

Our temperatures have mostly been in the 50's (Fahrenheit) during the day,
but fluctuate between upper 40's to low 60's, with cooler
temperatures at night, but not freezing.

I finished another pair of little Baskets
with a Scalloped Edge.

I am having so much fun making these!

I can see my little daffodils from my living room, too.

Can you see the dove?

I'm not the only one who admires the flowers!

Mt. Rainier is briefly released from its cloud cover
to reflect the setting sun.

I hope you had a lovely weekend, Dear Friends.

Thank you for all of your nice comments and movie recommendations
on my last post - I now have some 'new' movies to watch!

Did you watch the Oscars?

I love seeing the 'stars' come out
in their beautiful clothes.

 Sofia Vergara's gown was my favorite ;)

Ramblin' Man is doing his thing....
Rambling, so the nights are long....
He told me that on his way to work
last Friday, he had to pull over for a very large
herd of elk that was running down the road.

He managed to get a photo before they disappeared.
They are migrating to the upper elevations now.

We have also been hearing the 'peepers' at night,
down by the river
below our little mountain.

A sure sign of spring, but the sound always
gives me a creepy feeling. It is dark and lonely here
and with that sound in the background, you
can imagine all sorts of things!

Like a scary hollywood movie.......

I'm glad I have my two protectors.

Whitey Bear


Always on alert.....

Nicknames given by my son for Whitey Bear - 'Great White'
For Kai - 'Little Fang' :)

Have a happy week, my friends!

Today I am linking with:

Julie's Lifestyle - Cooking and Crafting with J&J

Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth - The Art of Home-Making Mondays

Our Home of Many Blessings Link up

The Enchanting Rose - Roses of Inspiration

Join Our Monday Link Up Party at Julie's Lifestyle!Join Our Weekly Link Up on Mondays!Monday of Many Blessings Link Up

Friday, February 26, 2016

Five Favorite Movies for Five on Friday

Hello, Dear Friends, in honor of the upcoming
Oscars, I wanted to share Five favorite movies

First on the list is 'Dances with Wolves'
with Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell,
and Floyd Red Crow Westerman as Chief Ten Bears. 

This movie won 7 Academy Awards,
including Best Picture of 1990.

It was based on the 1988 book of the same title
by Michael Blake. 

Apart from the obvious reasons :),
I loved this movie for its beautiful cinematography, 
noble ideology, and lovely romance.

It was filmed in South Dakota and Wyoming
and was selected for preservation in the U.S. National
Film Registry by the Library of Congress 
as being 'culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant'. 

Sent to protect a U.S. outpost on the desolate frontier, 
Lt. John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) finds himself 
alone in the vast wilderness. 
He ends up befriending the very people 
 he was supposed to protect the fort from. (the Sioux Indians)

He falls in love with the beautiful
'Stands With a Fist',(Mary McDonnell)
a white woman, who was adopted by the tribe as a child
after being kidnapped by a Pawnee raid.

The language barrier proves daunting
 between the Lt. and the tribe,
so she is recruited as interpreter
 with what little English she remembers
from her childhood, and they form a close bond.  

Lt. Dunbar befriends a wolf, and when observed
playing together, the tribe gives him the name, 
'Dances With Wolves'. 

When the encroaching U.S. Army threatens to overrun 
the Sioux, he is forced to make a choice - 
one that will forever change his destiny 
and that of a proud and defiant nation. 

The second movie on my list is 
'Fried Green Tomatoes
at the Whistle Stop Cafe', 
featuring Academy Award winning Actresses, 
Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy and Cicely Tyson. 

We are also introduced to the wonderful
Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary-Louise Parker. 

This movie was based on the best selling 1987 novel
of the same name by Fannie Flagg.

When an unhappy housewife, Evelyn Couch (Kathy Bates), goes on
her weekly visit to the nursing home with her husband
to visit his Mother, she befriends
Ninny Threadgoode, (Jessica Tandy)
a colorful old woman who brightens Evelyn's outlook
by sharing tales from her past. 

As Ninny recounts the exploits of her free spirited 
sister-in-law, Idgie (Mary Stewart Masterson), owner 
of a small Alabama cafe' in the 1920's, and the bond 
shared with her friend Ruth, (Mary Louise Parker)
Evelyn gains confidence to change her own life for the better. 

Idgie as a child with her beloved brother. 
She was a Tom-boy who hated dresses. :)

The plot switches back and forth from the mid-1980's 
when Evelyn visits the nursing home, 
to the stories told by Ninnie of Idgie's life in the 1920's.

In between we meet a host of wonderful characters 
from the Whistle Stop Cafe' and relive the story 
of the lives of Idgie and Ruth. 

I loved this movie for its beautiful period fashions
and setting, the lovely story of friendship and devotion
despite many difficulties and hardships, 
and the bittersweet journey of an old woman's memories
which inspires a re-evaluation of Evelyn's life. 

The third movie on my list is
'Out of Africa'. 

This 1985 movie won 7 Academy Awards,
including best picture.

Starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep,
this cinematic masterpiece was based
on the autobiographical book
'Out of Africa' by Isak Dinesan,
the pseudonym of Danish author Karen Blixen. 

I love the opening lines of both the book and the movie, 
"I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills".

This movie was filmed on location in the Ngong Hills
outside of Nairobi in the actual home of Karen Blixen. 

Karen  (Meryl Streep), marries her friend, 
Bror Blixen (Klaus Maria Brandauer) in 
a marriage of convenience for the title of Baroness, 
and he becomes recipient of her upper class wealth. 

In 1913, she travels to Africa intending to start a dairy farm
with him, only to find that he has spent all their money 
on a coffee plantation instead. 

As she struggles to maintain the plantation through various 
problems and disasters while 
her husband leaves her alone to go on long business trips
and hunting expeditions, she strives to improve relations
with the local natives. 

Eventually she discovers that he has been unfaithful -

and she asks him to leave. 

She then develops feelings for his friend, 
the noted hunter and adventurer, 
Denys Finch-Hatton (Robert Redford). 

After going on safari with him and falling in love, 
she invites him to live with her.
When she presses for marriage, 
he begins to criticize her for wanting to 
'own things and people'. 

His frequent absences and lack of commitment 
causes her to question their relationship 
but she loves him and can't let him go. 

I loved this movie for its epic romance, 
the beautiful cinematography
(filmed and directed by Sydney Pollack), 
and the period styles. 
The actual descendants of her
original native plantation workers
were actors in the movie, also. 
The fact that this was a true story, 
gave it credibility and intrigue. 

The ending will break your heart. 

The Fourth Movie on my list, 
'Under the Tuscan Sun' 
did not win any academy awards, 
but Diane Lane's winsome portrayal 
of the love forsaken Frances Mayes 
did get nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress. 
This 2003 movie is based on the best-selling 
memoir by Frances Mayes of the same name.

The 1996 book was #1 on the New York Times Best Seller
list  and stayed on for over 2 years.

When Frances Mayes (Diane Lane) learns that her husband
is cheating on her from a writer whom she gave a bad review,
her life is turned upside down.
She loses her marriage and her home to her ex and
his much younger, pregnant girlfriend and
sinks down into a deep depression.

Image result for Photo of Sandra Oh in Under the Tuscan Sun

When her best friend, Patti (Sandra Oh)
gives her tickets to take a tour of Italy in
an effort to bring her out of her depression,
she impulsively buys a rundown Tuscan villa
and struggles to start a new life.

While renovating the villa, she meets a colorful 
and unusual cast of characters with sweet and gentle souls. 

I loved this movie for the charming characters,
the sweet vulnerability of Frances as she learns
to rebuild her life and trust again,
and how she creates a beautiful life out of
the ashes of her despair.

Not to mention her beautiful wardrobe,
 the unassuming but fabulous villa,
and of course, the lovely Tuscan countryside.

My fifth and final movie choice is 
the 1981 movie, 'On Golden Pond', starring 
Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn, 
and Jane Fonda.

Henry Fonda won the Golden Globe and Academy Award
for Best Actor in what would be his final film role.

Katherine Hepburn won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

This film also stars Henry's daughter, Jane Fonda,
(in the movie and in real life)
Dabney Coleman and Doug McKeon.  

The movie was filmed on beautiful Squam Lake 
in Holderness, New Hampshire. 

Elderly couple, Ethel and Norman Thayer return 
to their summer cottage where Ethel is thrilled to 
hear the loons calling once again. 

Cantankerous retiree, Norman refuses to acknowledge 
the beauty around him and with his 80th birthday 
approaching, Ethel starts to see signs of senility. 

When his daughter, Chelsea (Jane Fonda), arrives with her 
new fiance (Dabney Coleman) and his teenage son, Billy
(Doug McKeon), it is apparent that Father and Daughter
have a strained and difficult relationship. 

Leaving Billy behind while traveling to Europe, 
Norman and Billy at first form a reluctant relationship. 

But soon they form a bond in their quest to catch Norman's 
legendary fish, 'Walter'. 

We are treated to views of the beautiful lake
and the vintage wooden speed boat. 

Chelsea returns, attempting to repair the long-strained 
relationship with her aging father before it is too late
and we find it is very nearly so. 

I loved this film, not only for its legendary film stars, 
Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn, 
but for the bittersweet story of a stubborn 
husband and father facing his own mortality. 

The beautiful backdrop of the lake, the cabin, 
and the haunting calls of the loons
brought back sweet memories for me of 
summers spent at a similar cabin in the 
White Mountains of New Hampshire, as a child
with my family. 

I hope you have enjoyed my reviews of five of my favorite movies,
Dear Friends.

What is your favorite movie?


Today I am linking with:

Love Made My Home - Five On Fridays

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