Wednesday, March 30, 2011

First Cut Blooms of 2011

As many of you may know, I am obsessed with my roses. I have wanted a rose bush for longer than I can remember. Last year my sweet Papa Bear gave me a rose garden for my birthday. It was the best gift ever. I was nervous about the winter because I didn't know how to properly care for my bushes and was so worried they wouldn't bloom this spring. I was worrying for nothing! Today I cut my first blooms of 2011 and brought them inside!! I love having fresh flowers in the house. It just seems so fresh and clean. It's hard to explain, I just love it! So far only my cutter reds and my pink knock outs have fully bloomed. My peace rose has a few buds and the white rose bush has lots of buds. The small buds that have opened on the white one have petals lined in a soft pink. So far none have been good enough or large enough to put in with these reds. I might go tomorrow morning to see what I add in here.

I really would like to have some other types of flowers to add in my bouquets. I just don't know what yet.

I bought this pitcher last year at a sidewalk sale. It's handmade by Emerson Creek Pottery. I'm not too familiar with them but I loved the vase and it was at a good price and now I am so happy I bought it. It's been living in my closet since I purchased it!

I love, love, love my roses. Every morning I go outside and check on them. I love to see them grow and see new leaves forming. They truly bring me so much joy! I told my Papa Bear I can never leave this house now because my roses are here!! And on a side note, we have lots of new grape clusters on the grapevine!! I'm very excited about that! I just hope this year those darn aphids don't drain it!!

I think I drank a bit too much coffee too late. It's nearly 2 am and I am still awake!! I will use this time productively..... by taking a break from homework and visiting some blogs! We all need to have some fun once in a while!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Finally A Fun Weekend

With no real plans on the agenda for Saturday I woke up early in the morning and went for a walk. I enjoy crisp, cool morning walks. It clears my head and really gets me going! After my walk I came home and made breakfast pizza. It has become every one's favorite around here. On Saturday's at the Pearl Brewery is a farmer's market. We went last year and I really enjoyed, so I called Mom, picked her up and we went over. We got there kinda late but still managed some great deals! I was truly hoping for some fresh flowers but there were none. Maybe next time!!

There was a new extension to the San Antonio River that runs behind the brewery. This wasn't there last year when we went. I was surprised at how very pretty it was.

There were signs that said things like "Play in the grass" or "Dance in the park..." It was just so cute to see families all around relaxing on the grass, taking pictures, kids playing. I loved it!

Once it started to get near 90 degrees we headed back to the car. There was this old wooden bench outside a restaurant on the brewery. Lena and I loved it and she stopped to take a photo.

After the farmer's market we went to Ms. Lassen's house to pick up some beads. I always enjoy chatting with her. She is simply wonderful.

Later that evening CC and I went to my dear friend Gala's house for dinner. She is an amazing cook. I would have taken photo's but as usual with Gala the drinks were strong and I forgot to take any pictures. I have been so rushed and tense and busy and crazy lately I welcomed a nice drink with her. To be honest, I couldn't even finish one martini but it should relaxed me and we enjoyed hours of laughing and gossiping and being together. I love her so much. She has been a dear friend and confidant for more than ten years!! And she is hoping her son will marry my daughter. Lord knows they aggravate each other enough already!

Sunday we were back in Austin but stopped by Emil's friend Ilya's house. He has such a sweet family and they too home school with K12. It's always fun to meet other homeschoolers and find their reasons for homeschooling and hear their experiences. After Ilya, Serge called and said they were at a sushi restaurant and told us to stop by. I was so tired and already starting to panic about how much homework I had waiting for me but we went for a couple of hours. The sushi was amazing!! Well, CC's Tuna Dynasty roll was. Mine was ok... I could have made better! Ha!!

This morning I went out as usual to check on my babies (my rose bushes) and found buds and roses. I was sooooo excited!

I think tomorrow I will go cut some and make a fresh bouquet for the table! I can't wait to have fresh flowers again. Especially roses! There is not much more I love about spring than that!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Russian Samovar

For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with the Russian culture. I can remember being as young as 10 and going to the library and checking out the few books on Russia our little library had and reading them over and over and over. All the books had pictures of samovars. I didn't know exactly what it was at that time, but I knew I wanted one. When I met my Papa Bear 16 years ago I had no idea he was an Armenian from Russia. We've been together ever since and I have learned lots about the Russian culture.
My mother in law came for a visit this past weekend and made one of my wishes come true. She brought me a real Russian samovar!!
Mr. Toby had to get in on some of these photos... he is such a bad kitty. There was no getting rid of him during my "photo shoot."
I love, love, love the khokhloma style painting on the samovar. LOVE IT!!!
This is the nozzle you pour the heated water from the samovar from. And of course, Toby!
Here is where you would place your teapot with tealeaves and a big of hot water. It will slowly heat from the water heating under it.
I cannot use it right now because of the electric adapter. It's not compatible with our plugs.
I love the flowers and fruits. It matches all my other Russian decorations in my kitchen.

I am so in love with my samovar. I wish I could use it. Emil and Nic said it's not a good idea. They both said the best samovars are the really old ones that has a hole in the middle and you stick wood in it. We checked some out on eBay but with the prices they are going for it will be another 16 years before I can get one!!
Classic Toby.....
Since I can't actually use my samovar I decided to place it on top of the shelves in my kitchen along with all my collection of my other Russian items. I placed it right in the middle of my Russian tea cozies. (lots of links because I have posted lots of my collection!)
She is the oldest. When I bought her on eBay she was around $30. Now this exact tea cozy, because of her age, can easily go over $100.

I am so happy to finally have a samovar, even if I can't use it. I have wanted one for so long I am sure I will enjoy just looking at it each time I walk into my kitchen. I couldn't thank my mother in law enough!!!
Thanks for stopping by and allowing me to share my favorite treasure with you. Please stop by and see Cindy @My Romantic Home and Beverly @How Sweet the Sound for more wonderful blogs with wonderful posts!!
And I'm finally almost ready to do my next giveaway. I just need to add in a few more items!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

~~Things Are Blooming~~

Friday afternoon my mother in law and her friend came to visit us for the weekend. I was so happy to get to see Karina (MIL) after not seeing her for almost a year. She is still just as sweet as ever. The girls were happy to see their Nanny Kia too!She brought me the most fabulous gift ever, something I have been wanting for over 15 years....a samovar! Her friend brought it back from Russia for me last year. I was so excited! She left Sunday and as always it's sad to see her go.
My mom came over Sunday afternoon and Luigi was being a spoiled baby and snuggling up to her. He loves my mom so much!
He actually fell asleep snuggled next to her like this. A little later he saw CC holding Toby and loving on him and Luigi seriously started hyperventilating. It was so crazy to see him get so anxious over that. As soon as she let Toby down and went back to Luigi he was fine!
Saturday afternoon I took Karina to visit her friends here in town. She wanted to stop and pick them up some flowers. CC went in with her. CC called me and asked me, "Quick, red, white or red and yellow like a tiger." I didn't know what she was talking about but told her to surprise me. I was wishing I would have told her red and yellow like a tiger. This is what she brought out to me.....
Red and yellow tulips.... Oh, how I love tulips!
There was only one tulip when we brought it home but it really blossomed in just two days!! I'm thinking about using this photo as my header when I redo my blog background.

I also have my first rose of the year!! A double knock out. This rose bush has alwasy provided me with the most abundant, beautiful roses!!! Love it!
Monday evening CC did alot with our plants. We replanted our radish. The basil is still ok for now. CC by her self planted my two new crepe myrtle trees. I'm still figuring out where to put my dogwood trees. I wish I had a huge front and back yard. I would love to plant a magnolia tree, pecan tree, cottonwood, a couple of cherry, definitely an get it! My MIL and her friend and my mom also told me how easy it is to grow a pineapple tree. They said just cut the top portion off, let it dry out and plant. My goodness...I would LOVE to do that! But my yard is just too small. However, I plan to make the most out of it. And I'm thankful I have a yard that I can plant things in. I am also planning to take my MIL's friends advice and plant raspberry and blueberry bushes along my fence. I can't wait to tell the girls, "Go pick some blueberries for breakfast...." Haha..that'll probably take years.