Monday, May 24, 2010

Mrs. Dow-Ward's "garden"

Spring gardening has begun in Mrs. Dow-Ward's neighborhood.  This past Saturday I spent the vast part of the day hunkered over my flower beds.  I have 3 beds that I currently maintain in our front yard.
Last year I did quite a bit of work to establish these spaces and this year it has been much easier since all I had to do was weed and plant.  Notice I said...."ALL".  Gracious, this year not only did I weed and plant...I also developed a rather ridiculous sunburn around my neck that would rival any high fashion bib necklace on the market!

Here is the garden last summer (2009)....from the beginning....

.... After 4 weeks of growth 2009 ....

.... July 2009 ....

.... May 2010 first planning ....

.... May 2010 second planing ....

Summer 2009 when I started "gardening" I didn't have a particular formula for what I was going to plant, or knowledge of how big the plants would get.  I just picked colors that I liked and things that were on sale.  The stones that make the flower beds came from a pile in our back yard.  Thankfully there was enough to make a few good stacks along the edges, I would love to have more though. 

This summer I've not been as motivated to start planting until this past week.  I was much more on top of it last year. was because it was the first time and I had no idea how much work it was going to be...and THIS time I did.  

Last week I started things quite slow buy giving the herbs and flowers that had made it through the winter a little bit of a trim.  They were way over grown, I was quite surprised that they had done that well.  Like I said, I didn't really know what to expect from the first season of planting.  My herbs were huge....I had no idea they would grow that big that fast.

I started this year with a nice set of pink flowers.  This is the first time I will admit to making an obvious error.  I didn't notice that they were "shade" flowers until I was finished planting them.  The beds they were planted in are more of the FULL SUN persuasion.  We'll see how that works out.  After realizing what I had done, I considered doing a second planting with the thought in mind that the shade flowers would either die, or have to be removed and re planted elsewhere.  To date, they have been in the ground 9 days and have shown no signs of death.  Perhaps they will be shaded enough by the FULL SUN flowers I put in over the weekend? Time shall tell.

Stay tuned for a summer of bright pinks, oranges, reds, and a touch of yellow!

Friday, May 21, 2010

A nice view, with a little trivia to boot!

I like photography, don't you?  It's fun, you see things through a different perspective.  Sometimes you've been there, sometimes not.  Today while prowling the images section of google I found a couple of photos that combine 2 of my loves.  Volkswagens and NYC.

The first image is of a rather sporty V-dub avec the Brooklyn Bridge (which I've trolled across multiple times with my own two feet.

The second image is of the same V-dub on Park Avenue with a certain Episcopal Church in the background....Given those 2 hints, who can name said church?

Okay kids....get ready, get set, GUESS!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Party hats and wild dreams

Today I've been trying to think of anything but finding a job.  Arghhh, talk about something that can wear you down.  Tick tok, tick tok, tick tok...and still nadda.

I was looking on line a few minutes ago at additional backyard dream boats and found this photo:

This is Peter Fallic's house...beautiful back yard huh? Slight modifications and this is just about perfect to what my personal dreams have contained.  Pipe dreams considering the current jobless climate, but none the less...dreams.

Oh the flip side something a wee bit of my darling piano students made a gift for me.  She gave me an owl for Christmas (I love owls) and today she brought the owl a party hat. She's a clever kid, look out world, she's a comin'!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spring is in the air...but not in our backyard

Our back yard leaves a lot to be desired.  Currently we park in the back and walk in the door and that's about it.  For our anniversary last year we bought a BBQ which we love and have been using more and more as time permits.  Since our time in the back, we have started talking about what we should do with the space to make it more functional and less of a "parking lot".  Our backyard is seperated currently into two spaces.  It is half grass, and half concrete.  The concrete portion will remain for parking, there's just no way around that one.  The grass portion is what is up for debate.  As it would happen, I'm not particuarly interested in keeping the grass.  I would like to make the grass section disapear...hmmm perhaps I should start taking magic trick lessons?  Anyway...what we are considering is decking, stone, brick, or a combination of decking/stone, or decking/brick. We have consulted several professionals for quotes and design ideas but no conversation is better than a they say a photo is worth a thousand words! Or perhaps it is just me who says that.  Anyway, here are a few photos I like to help describe what I want in our back yard space.   Since we have about 300 sq ft to work with (not counting the landscaped portions) we have some options.   Here we go...this is what I like....

(photos: Canadian House and Home)

I like all of these for different reasons.  There are portions of all of these photos I like, whether it be the landscape, cushions, the stone/decking etcetera. What do you think?  With our new awning in mind what do my decorator friends think?

Monday, May 17, 2010

More than meets the eye/ear.

Nothing new on the decor front...Nothing new on the job front...and Handsome still looks the same (extremely cute). That being said, there is a rather tasty piece of music in my ears lately, and no it isn't "Camp town Races".  Christ Lag in todesbanden, Cantata 4, is so fabulous.  The big choral movements are 1 and 7 with the chorale, movement 7.  What comes in between....well, "heaven" shall I say.

Verse I: "Christ lag in Todes Banden"
Verse II: "Den Tod niemand zwingen kunnt" ("Nobody could overcome death")
Verse III: "Jesus Christus, Gottes Sohn" ("Jesus Christ, Son of God")
Verse IV: "Es war ein wunderlicher Krieg" ("There was a wondrous war")
Verse V: "Hier ist das rechte Osterlamm" ("Here is the true Easter Lamb")
Verse VI: "So feiern wir das hohe Fest" ("So we celebrate the high feast")
Verse VII: "Wir essen und leben wohl" ("We eat and live well")

This work is for an upcoming concert at St. John's Episcopal Church

Tonight as we sang through the movements,  I was noticing how beautiful the music is.  Naturally, it is aurally beautiful, but what I mean, in this instance is how beautiful the notes look on the page.  Does anybody else think that?  In the past few weeks, as I've been dusting off some rusty repertoire...I've had to pause a lot more to reflect on notes etc and am looking at these pieces of music as more than a map (from beginning to end) but now as pieces of art.

This piece in particular is high on my list of beauties...

Classic Bach...he wrote some "winners" didn't he? (hehe)

As it would happen both of these pieces I have new eyes for are Bach.  Other favorites include Ralph Vaughan Williams and Frederic Chopin. The difference between Bach, Vaughan Williams, and Chopin is similar to the difference between a landscape and a portrait.  I suppose it depends what you're looking for. 
 The long and short of it, or in this case, the whole and half of it is that the next time I'm looking for something to frame I may look to the pages of my piano books and choral scores, because they hold more than meets the eye. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nothing much.

There's not much new around the Dow-Ward house.  All projects are on hold....I have not found a job (yet).  It's hard to sit in a house that causes me to be full of fabulous ideas when you can't actually act on them, such a bummer. Handsome doesn't know what to do with himself, besides sit and look flawless.  My he's a nice prop. 

School is coming to a close...this was a rough semester.  Fewwww! I'm sure glad it is almost over.  Christian Beliefs finals today, and Ministry Among At Risk Children project due tomorrow. Dr. Professor Geoffrey finished his class this evening and is now grading like a crazy man. 
Handsome has been every so helpful with the final projects and test prep this past week....he even attempted to do some typing himself.  What a helpful little friend he is. 

Tonight I was sitting in the front room following the conclusion of some piano lessons.  I attempted to start a new Bach piece myself, but ended up catching up on some of my favorite bloggers.  Here are a few photos I found on line that I find to be highly inspiring.  

As I was browsing this article and practically drooling over the closets, the common rooms and the flower arrangements...I felt a little furry paw at my child had to remind me something and for once it wasn't that he needed a snack....
Handsome was at my side to say, "Excuse me, mother...9 by Design is about to start" there it is, not only am I hooked, so is my kitty.  What can I say he's stylish.

( Kari and Kirby Schlegel's W -Dallas Victory Penthouse photos by: Manny Rodriguez)..with the exception of my photos of Handsome, they were taken on my iPhone.  (smile)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bluestar Stove - in my kitchen ?

Ladies and Gents may I new kitchen puppy love....Blue star Stoves.  I am a super fan of Sixx Design, AKA the new Bravo success, 9 By Design.  This past week they featured Blue star in their Hamptons reno project.  Cortney went in search of "3 stoves for several projects" she was working on, one of which was a lemon yellow.  She designed a beautiful space, that was VERY white...but in a lacquer way.  The yellow stove was for sure the design perfection feature of the room.  Kind of like a nice fireplace is often the focal point in a living room.  After several successful Google searches I found out that not only can New Yorkers purchase these delightful stoves, but so can Memphians!  Should you not be interested in a yellow stove, Blue star offers 189 other options to perfectly style your kitchen.  
Lately I have been interested in adding to my red collection in the kitchen and have entertained the idea of a red stove.  How boss would that be?  I also like the basic stainless steel with red knobs.  That would be a cool alternative to the entire stove base being red.  For extra fun check out the blue star web page and click until your heart is content!  You've got dozens of greens, browns,'s amazing! You can even change the shades of the knobs, the door hinges....AMAZING!  Blue star where have you been all my life?
In addition to my vast interest in colorful stoves, is my interest in a stainless steel back splash to go behind the stove.  Currently our stove sits below a microwave, that 4 weeks ago decided not to work any longer.  In a perfect world (do they really exist) I would purchase one of these stoves and a fabulous 21" back splash (guard as they call it). 

Currently, our kitchen has light colored wood Craft Made cabinets...similar to these below.  Our floors are a slate, also pictured below.  

 If I could re-do the kitchen, I would paint all the cabinets in a white lacquer, white marble counter tops, and do a stainless back splash as displayed in these pictures.  
(or subway tile might be to much white though)

These 3 photos from the "desirable" kitchen come from ikea!  The cabinetry is all from ikea with blue star appliances!  What a tasty kitchen.  I'm impressed with the way they delivered so much function in such a small space.   Who knew a galley kitchen could be so chic.  While our kitchen is not a galley kitchen it is a small space.  It seems like so many kitchen projects displayed by designers are in massive kitchens and that doesn't provide a very realistic perspective to what a small kitchen reno option would be like.  Thank you ikea.  (pictured in the ikea kitchen: Liebherr counter depth fridge
Blue Star 30″ range
Miele 18″ dishwasher
Prestige 30″ recirculating range hood)

The kitchen below has all of the ideal elements as far as cabinet and counter top colors and light fixtures.  I love this kitchen.  My  kitchen is still probably half the size of this kitchen but it does display a realistic perspective of what things could look like.     
(Photos courtesy of Blue star appliances, ikea, and blue high heel in the door)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

good...but not great

I don't think I would characterize the the current job hunting situation as ideal, or in general as a good thing.  But if one is generalizing the situation...I guess I could come to the conclusion that things are good, but not great.  Of the 9 jobs that I have aggressively applied for, I have had interviews for 2 of them. Most of the jobs don't start for a while, and the application deadlines have not passed yet, which leaves me sitting and wondering what the future will hold.  All of this uncertainty to and the so defined gray areas are what makes things, again, not great.   
Today I "misplaced" my cell phone...and it would be my luck that not only is it on silent, but the vibrate is also turned off.  I went to a recital last evening and never turned it back on. Not only that...but I have not backed up the phone in nearly 2 weeks, thus leaving me with the feeling that a lot of valuable materials will be lost into the void along with many other things.
What was I thinking?  Hopefully at some point in my life the phone will reappear. Please keep all available appendages crossed until further notice.

Today I was catching up on a few facebook photo album posts and found 3 photos from a university friend of mine who now lives in Vilnius, Lithuania.  She is a divine soul who's name is Alicia Gian-Mačiulienė.  Posted on her honeymoon album were three photos that I found to be particularly inspiring on what seems to be a very gray day.  (Yes normally I love gray, but not in this sense.)  So, without further delay, I give you the three... 

So, thank you've brought a smile to my face, on a day when I really needed one!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Beale Street Music Fest-Saturday night

Friday night at music fest turned into a 24 hours Tornado watch/warning.  Rains like like I have ever experienced...seriously.  This rain against the bluff was really frightening. Saturday the household got a few winks in just in time for the "same song 2nd verse, a little faster a little worse" to get started. 

Geoff came down and grilled 36 hotdogs, 16 hamburgers, 25 pieces of we didn't eat it all.  It was for the hoards of screaming music fest fans.  By the end of the night, they were nil. 

Within 2 hours the clouds had turned into a dismal shade of gray with black rolling clods in the midst. 
The storm Saturday night at Music Fest was really something else.  The storm didn't last long, there fortunately wasn't a tornado, but there was hail at 1.75"-2.50" and straight line winds coming off the bluff. Music Fest was canceled at approximately 9pm and all of Tom Lee Park was evacuated.  There were thousands of people there!  All of the kids made it back up to the house, with 40 of their closest friends! The garage was was practically like Noah's Ark.  
45 minutes later, the storm had past, the garage was emptied.   Time for cookies, then bed. 
Music Fest 2010 was lots of fun, but as they say..."All good things must come to an end." Thankfully rain did stop and Sunday proceeded in a delightful, HOT/MUGGY Memphis like manor. 


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