Jack Sprat & Shrimp Salad & Raggy Roses

I have been soooooo busy with the arrival of the sweet warm temperatures and literally, everything's coming up roses. April showers do bring May flowers and an explosion of WEEDS. Bobby G and I have been working like mad to clean up, plant, weed, weed, weed ...... oh and paint too. Not to mention I have happily been creating some very special things for The Vintage Nest. So today, I thought I would just do a little musings post about what's happening around here. Although I love a pretty garden and yard I confess I don't like the work that goes into having it (maybe because it just kills my back) and Bobby G. likes it even less. By the time he finishes cutting 8 acres worth of grass he's not into digging holes for me. Consequently, my poor rose bed ( 7 bushes do constitute a rose garden don't they? :) does not get the attention it deserves. So I am always delighted when my bushes look as healthy as they do this Spring, probably having something to do with our unusually cold winter. This is my very first bud of the season....isn't it beautiful?!! I plan to make a sweet little corsage of these delightful buds for my Mother for Mom's Day this Sunday.

And these sweethearts are the wild roses that intermingle with the honeysuckle vines on the bank of the lake on the East side of the property. In the evenings the smell is divine.

And for some reason whatever I plant in this spot just grows like crazy and everything is bigger here. Two seasons ago I planted a clematis on one side of this arbor and it's already covered the arbor. These blossoms are as big as dinner plates. I planted a deep purple clematis on the opposite side which will soon be opening it's flowers too.

Every Spring season also brings the " we need to paint the front porch" out of my mouth. I am the painter in this family and I really don't mind the job. For some weird reason I find it relaxing and as I paint my mind wonders and before I know the job is finished. It's the prep work I really don't like.

But there is one job I absolutely abhor and that's the annual cleaning of the screen porch. It's a big job. The property is covered in big beautiful tall stately pines but those big beautiful tall stately pines put out all that yellow pollen in the Spring....tons of it. On a windy day you can literally see clouds of it swirling. I try to pick a day that is hot and windy to do this job. Hot....because the hose water feels good and windy because the cushions will dry out quickly after scrubbing them with water and bleach. I did this job this past weekend. It's done now......yay! Soon I want to do a blog post and show you all how this porch is decorated......all with flea market and side of the road finds.

Here's another fixer upper job that needed doing. When he does stuff like this I just watch, hold my breath and hope nothing happens. It didn't!.......and the lights are fixed now. Double Yay!

Did you ever play that game when you were a kid, of "Do You Like Butter" using the wild buttercup flowers. You know the one where you held the butter cup under your chin and if there was a shadow it meant you like butter and if there was no shadow, then you didn't like butter. Of course on the days when it was sunny, everyone liked butter and vice-versa :) The buttercups in the pasture just exploded over nite much to the horses delight. As far as the eye could see, there were millions of buttercups.

Okay...now don't hate me for this but I just couldn't help my bad self. :) I saw this cute couple in the grocery store the other day. And the childhood poem "Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean" immediately popped in my mind. He was at least 6' 7" tall if not taller and she looked to be about 5' 2" short. They were so affectionate and absorbed in finding the ingredients for a recipe they were making they never even noticed me.

And on the way home from the grocery store I stopped at our little farmer's market that is back in business for the season. I got some of their fabulous "frog jam" and some fresh greens. And right next door a fresh seafood vendor has opened up. .... woohoo....we love fresh shrimp especially when they are brought up from the coast of N.C. the very same day. With the warm days I will soon be making tons of light meals involving salads. Here is a shrimp salad we had that night, along with just fresh pineapple slices and corn pudding. Shrimp Louis is a recipe that has been around for eons but I change it up a bit to make it less caloric.

1 pound shrimp- cooked and chopped
1/8 cup mayo or salad dressing
1/8 cup sour cream
2 T. chili sauce (I make my own with catsup and horseradish)
1 t. fresh lemon or lime juice
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t grated onion
1/4 t seasoned salt

Now instead of sour cream, I use Greek style non-fat yogurt and a low fat mayo.....Duke's or Hellman's. You may have to adjust the amount of sour cream and mayo you use depending on how creamy you want it. This also makes a delicious dipping sauce for the shrimp instead of mixing the shrimp in.

As I mentioned I have been super fun busy in the studio creating some fresh new items. I have always loved making the gift tags and incorporating something vintage in them. Now I have upped this concept to include the tag, hand stamped muslin ribbon and a charming raggy muslin rose to top a gift with. The center of the flower is a gorgeous vintage black corded fabric button. Others will have black jet vintage buttons. Love the colors.... French inspired saying in au naturel with a touch of black class. A unique and one-of-a-kind gift embellishment.....you provide the gift. I especially like it used with black or just plain brown craft paper. I have listed one so far with lots more in the works.

And finally today I just had to show you one more flower photo. Our rhododendrons and peonies are just opening this week. I love the great big old blooms of both these plants. Wonder why the ants love peonies especially since peonies don't have a sweet scent? And last night my sweet neighbor gave me a bunch of yellow and blue dutch iris from her garden. Does this just shout Spring time or what? I love to use my old ironstone pitchers as vases. The white porcelain birds I found at a yard sale and the monograms were Christmas ornaments given to us this year.

Well...I hope I haven't talked your ear off today. You have a fantabulous week and enjoy your weekend. Now I'm heading back over to the work table. All those pretty vintage rayon seam bindings and bird charms are calling to me. I'll be back soon with the Silver Sunday post. I have some fun off beat, quirky, vintage silver items to show you that are just plain fun to decorate with. Until then.........

Oh wait...one more thing. Just in today........could Ms. AL, our grand daughter born at Christmas, be the gerber baby look alike or what? And she's coming to see me soon. Oh baby....I can't wait.


Connie said...

Ohmygosh, look at those sweet cheeks, sugar! Darling. I can't wait until our Miss A is born in a few weeks. I've spent the better part of 2 months making froufrou things for her.

8 acres?! Love Bunny can barely get 1/5 an acre done around here. And that's exactly what he's doing at the moment!


The Artful Diva said...

I feel your pain - we clean our lanai 3-4 times during the season - forget about the summer too hot to spend any time out there. It's a huge job. We are also surrounded by pine trees. The pollen is a pain in the - well you know. We don't have anywhere near 8 acres, but it feels like it at times.

It's time to put your feet up and relax!

Thanks for stopping by my blog too.

The Polka Dot Closet said...

8 acres OMG! I can't wait to see your porch when you have the furniture on it! I am not saying this just to be nice.....That is a gorgeous baby!!!

Unknown said...

Ok Lynn, I checked out the tweet button and it did retweet for you. Love the grand daughter pic, hate the painting pic because I dread that I have to do that. Wish I had that screened porch and thanks for that yummy recipe. Ohhhh and I love the new packaging item you listed. Very pretty!

Jennifer said...

You have exhausted me with all of your activities! It never ceases to amaze me at how much must be done with the changing of the seasons. It seems you are having a most productive spring. Your grand-daughter is just beautiful. I know you are so, so excited to see her!

It's 89 degrees here today... looks like we are in for a warm summer!


Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

Oooohhh...she is so beautiful! Those cheeks...those eyes...I bet she has sweet little fingers and chubby little toes too! Your flowers look beautiful and I always loved butter!

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Oh Lynn, your little granddaughter just stole the post! She is sooo cute! She SHOULD be an Gerber ad. Your flowers are beautiful. Oh,I do love spring! (Love the new stamped muslin ribbon!) Keep on stamping friend! I'm going to want some of that. I so wish we had a fresh fish market close by. Your Shrimp Louie sounds wonderful. laurie

Nola said...

Your grand daughter is adorable!
I would kill for your screened porch; I miss the one I had at my other home, it was my favorite room. No place here to put one, darn it.
What on earth is frog jam?

dana said...

Forgot to tell you that your Grand Girl is ADORABLE!!!! L, Dana

dana said...

Hi Lynn! It was so much fun reading this post of yours!! Your porch looks HUGE and wonderful and I can hardly wait to see how you decorate it all up for the warm weather! OMG..than man of yours hanging on to the roof scared my pants off (figure of speech...my pants are still in place! :) I used to hate to see my guy pull out the ladder at our old house. It always meant he was probably going to make a bad situation worse or hurt himself. So far, no ladders have been necessary at this one level, treeless and new house! :) LOVE your flowers and your creation! You are so good about always designing and following through! I just get lazy and don't get much done!

Have a great week!!!! L, Dana

PS Almost forgot....my "bad self" LOVED that picture and I used to fix Crab Louis a lot in my younger days...never had it with shrimp. Your recipe sounds awesome!!!

Margaret Cloud said...

What a busy person you are. The grand-daughter sure could be the Gerber Baby, what a sweetie and those eyes. Just love that big porch and can't wait to see the furniture.You are fortunate that flowers grow for you, I am not a green thumb in that area. Your food sounds so good, made me hungry. I sure do like that pitcher of flowers, they are so pretty. Your corsage for your mom will be so pretty and I am sure she will love it. Happy Mother's Day to you and your Mother.

Unknown said...

Lovely post Lynn..but I am so drawn to your Ms AL, too beautiful for words..not only a perfect baby for Gerber but for anything else! She is such a cutie pie! Glad spring is finally showing so enjoy all the lovelies it brings along. Hugs..M

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