EaStEaR Eggs on ThE CoUrThouSe LaWn

The day started off sunny and beautiful.. but a breeze brought in a few clouds. It looks like we have some rain coming. But not before the kids got to enjoy an Easter Egg hunt on the lawn of our Courthouse. We could hear lots of excited screams as the children discovered eggs. It was nice to see so many people turn out for the fun event.

We have gotten some Mad Scientist time to create a new product. We have sold tons of our Battery Operated LED Taper Candles so we know you like the look. But, with our being in Shipshewana in an unconditioned building this summer, we are looking for a grubby concoction that will not melt. We have finally come up with a process and have applied it to not only the battery tapers, but electric candles as well. Check out our new light. The boxes are made by a local Amish man and we finish them here ourselves. The candle has our new grungy finish. We are planning to make these several colors. Check them out while you are here.

All the excitement and kids have kept Bruce busy today. Here he is catching a cat nap.. but notice he is right by the door so as not to miss anybody. He takes being the official Greeter very seriously.

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Amish Country

farm 4Another place my son and I traveled about and took pictures on Mother’s Day was in our Amish Country. I love a drive out past the Amish farms and along River Road. The rolling hills and stately barns make me hard pressed to enjoy Amish Country any where else. The beautiful sunny day and gentle breeze made the drive a wonderful way to spend the day.

horses Sundays are a day of rest for man and beast in Amish country. Here a herd of Belgiums are enjoying the beautiful weather.  My son got to drive a pair of these horses when he helped an Amish friend dig his basement. That’s right.. DIG.. with horses. They are hooked up to a large scoop and layer by layer they scrape up the soil. Then it is shoveled onto a wagon and taken out into a field and scattered like their manure. My son loved every minute of all that hard work.. especially when he was given home made bread and Coconut Cream Pie.

baby bell2Spring also brings all the young colts and fillies. We caught this young’un trying to reach something on the drive. He was funny to watch as he spread his legs to get anywhere close to the ground. He was also a neat light color with a darker strip down his back. I imagine he will be a light buff color when he matures.

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 This farm is also along River Road. I wish I lived out that way as I would love to travel this road every day. The winding turns, beautiful farms and the river make for some incredible scenery. I have yet to drive this road and not meet a horse and buggy along the way. I can think of no better way to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life than a ride in our Amish Country.

Published in: on May 11, 2009 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Happy Mother’s Day

10Mother’s Day dawned breezy and beautiful. After a nice Church service and lunch, my son and I decided to drive around and take pictures for the photography contest we mentioned earlier. We thought it would be a nice way to remember the day if we got some photographs. Having one of them a winner and turned into a post card would be nice too.

8Every Mother’s Day my husband and I take a walk in Lawrence Woods located off 68 just outside of town. Since he had to leave for business today, my son stepped into the role of taking Mom for her annual walk. Spring is still new this time of year and the sun dapples through the trees and many flowers adorn the 1 hour walk.

4This year I spotted only a few of the Trilliums I usually enjoy. It is nice to see these lovely flowers in their natural surroundings. There was a small patch of about a dozen flowers.. maybe it is a bit early.. or a bit late for them. The few I did get to enjoy made my day.

13Other flowers dotted almost the entire walk. Shades of lavender and sky blue were sprinkled under the canopy of trees and dancing in the breeze. Spring brings so much rain and the damp air and new growth make a Spring walk in Lawrence Woods one of my favorite things to do around Hardin County.

15When you first enter into the woods, you come upon this unique tree known as the ‘Rhino Tree’. It is one of the few really mature trees in these woods of several hundred acres. When you see the young trees bent by the ice storm about 5 years ago, one can imagine a storm bending this tree in it’s youth and shaping it’s future. Because it was not tall and straight, it was not harvested.. and now it causes young and old to marvel at its shape.

6Another tree, this one broken by a recent storm. My son is still several inches shorter than the clearance under the branch.. but as the years pass.. he should be able to stand under it and touch it with the top of his head. This will be fun to check out on Mother’s Day in the coming years.

Hope everyone had a delightful Mother’s Day!

Published in: on May 10, 2009 at 11:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Flowers at Last

lantanaI finally got the pots out front planted. Being a bit of a rebel I refuse to put Petunias out there. As pretty as they can be, they are water hogs and by the end of the season they tend to look a bit ratty and tired. So, I went a bit different route.

The Lantana I brought back from Texas was sulking a bit here in the colder Ohio Spring weather we were having. For those not familiar with this plant.. it is a power house all summer long. Living in Texas a gardener needs to think about water. I like lots of flowers but I hate watering. So I like drought tolerant plants and Lantana is one of the best. Hard to find here in Ohio it is well worth looking for. Bright little flower clusters adorn the plant all summer until killed by frost. Down South this plant is perennial.. but up here it will be an annual. A unique benefit is the plant roots release something into the soil that keeps seeds from germinating. Nice if you don’t like weeds. Most Lantanas also have a cascading habit and are a refreshing replacement for the petunias.

To add some height with the Lantana I added a really dark Coleus. Almost black in color it wll look nice against the reddish brick of my building and the bright yellow oranges of the Lantana. Also easy to take care of and a bit forgiving with watering. This combination I put in the two larger pots at the corners of my shop.

caladiumwhitechristmasBy the front door I put some white Caladiums. I added some English Ivy that has a yellow edge and some orange Impatiens for color. Being on the West side I get morning sun from the East. The brick absorbs a lot of sun and creates a nice warm micro-climate.. it also tends to really dry out the pots. So, in addition to my regular dose of Osmocote fertilizer, I added some water crystals. These crystals absorb water and then release it back into the soil as it dries out.. giving you additional time between waterings. Since we have to carry buckets of water from the back of the shop every other day.. I’ll take all the help I can get with watering.

Published in: on May 7, 2009 at 3:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Findlay Craft Show

A quick reminder that we will be closed Saturday and will close early on Friday for the Findlay Show. If  you have never been to this show, it is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Over 350 crafters will be there as well as tons of good food. The show is held every year at the Hancock County Fair Grounds..  1017 E Sandusky Street in Findlay. We will be in Barn E. Come visit us at the show.

Check out the  web site to get $1 off admission coupons or pick up some for you and your Friends at the shop.

Published in: on April 29, 2009 at 3:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Spring is FINALLY Blowing in..

We sure have has some goofy weather. I bought some Lantana in Texas with the thought I would put them in our pots outside. Somewhere… I guess in Arkansas.. we drove right out of Spring. I left a Lowe’s filled with tons of Petunias, Verbenas, Gardenias as well as veggies and herbs and got back up here and the leaves were not even out. Bummer!!

And yesterday.. though the weather was finally warming.. that WIND. I’ve been a bit spoiled here at the shop. We have had Hydrangeas, Hyacinths, Pansys and many other cheery flowers blooming since January. That, combined with the nice ivies, have made for a rather pleaseant diversion from the Winter that was hanging on outside. So now that the weather is finally warming outside, I’m getting ready for Summer. I’ve finally got the stuff I bought at the Cash and Carry out on the floor and now I’m in the mood to start rearranging things.

maybePlates.. we have several nice new ones. Our Dance in the Rain plate is a best seller and now this one is coming in right behind it. A similar sentiment and words of encouragement for a friend or family member. There are four plates in this collection all with nice sentiments. Sit them in a plate stand for individual display or add them to one of our wood or metal plate racks that allow the display of two or three plates either vertical or horizonally.

img_0239_2Another nice new plate is the one on the right. With the recent loss of my Father, the verse has taken on new meaning and is a gentle remider to live each day fully and with no regrets. If tomorrow never comes, do they know  you love them? I’m making sure family and friends know how much they mean to me.

basket1Check out this cute metal basket. I added two pip berry whisps. It will sit real nice on a shelf or table as well as hang on a wall with the wire handle.

Published in: on April 26, 2009 at 5:21 am  Comments (1)  
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Room with a View

Front Hutch

 All though the weather is cold and snowy.. inside we are definitely looking like spring.  And I am finally getting some things together. This beautiful old hutch is the first thing you see when you walk in our door. It is being done in various shades of blue and has touches of yellow in it. But.. if you look real close.. you will see a unique decor item. Can you see it.. in the hydrangeas.. under the shelf part of the hutch.

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It seems that Bruce has found himself a cozy perch to take a nap and wait for his beloved people to come in. He hasn’t been up in this hutch for months. During the Fall, he got up into that little cubby hole and took a nap. I was rearranging some things on the hutch one day and stuck some greenery up in there and he came flying out. His exit aged me a few years and my startled scream must have deterred him from that area for a while. Now it looks like he’s back. Probably warmer than napping in the front window these days with below freezing temps outside.

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Published in: on January 28, 2009 at 2:30 am  Comments (2)  
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I hate Winter…

Well Winter is here.. and in full force. I left Texas last Saturday where it was 85 degrees and got back here to Ohio on Sunday. It was a cool 50 degrees when I got out of the car. Then came the snow. On the way in to the shop on Tuesday I lost control of the car and fish tailed down a good stretch of the road. Would I hit the truck in the other lane or go off in a field and possibly catch a telephone pole off on the right. After going back and forth for what seemed like forever, the car finally straightened out and we continued on. I’m still amazed I didn’t hit SOMETHING. My son said the whole thing was ‘wild’.  More snow today and more slippery roads. And there is more coming… they are predicting about 6″ more inches by Sunday. By now I’m thinking I left Texas for this?!

Around the shop we are getting  Christmas packed up and putting out Spring. Last year I loved being surrounded by daffodils, hyacinths and songbirds while watching the snow outside.  It just makes you feel good to see the bright, cheerful colors when the outside is so drab and gray. So when cabin fever sets in and you get tired of Winter, come in and get a breath of Spring. We will also be burning some new candle fragrances that will make you forget how cold it is outside.

New items are also arriving this month. We have several new Hearthside plates that are due in any day now. We had several new plates come in around Thanksgiving that sold out very quickly. Reorders of these items will also be coming in. Yesterday we received some really cool new primitive night lights as well as more of the best selling ones we already had. On the way are several new Wax Warmers. My favorite pattern, Old Mill, is no longer being made in the regular warmers. It is, however, being made in the new Junior Revere wax warmers. These warmers will also introduce a new Barn Star pattern. The projected ship date on the Junior warmers is March 1. We expect them in the shop shortly after that. Also expected in before the end of February are more of or our Revere Warmers. These warmers are very popular and go quickly when they hit the shelf. To see these new warmers check out the web site: www.the-comforts-of-home.com . You can reserve one of these warmers before they come in by stopping by the shop.

Published in: on January 9, 2009 at 3:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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