Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I am a big fan of treillage. (n. Latticework, especially a trellis for a vine.) I think a garden is always more interesting with a trellis placed as a focal point here & there. Whether it be to adorn a blank wall, or freestanding in a perennial bed, I love them!

My garden is really only in it's infancy. Trying to carve out a garden where the northern California grasslands are constantly battling with me to reclaim the space is quite a task. But, whatever small space I am able to turn into garden is going to have some treillage for certain!

I've been saving photos in my inspiration file for a while. Here are a few I'd really love to use in my garden.

A trellis box like this one would be great at the corners of the knot garden.

Look at this beautiful spiral trellis! All it needs is a climbing rose or a clematis.

Would love to find a place for an arbor made of twigs...

I'm liking this idea to fence around the rose garden. I'll have to be 8' tall to keep the deer out!

And then, when I win the Super Lotto, I'm going to shop HERE to buy a few of these! LOL!

Do you have a trellis in your garden? I'd love to see it!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Afternoon Tea

Today is my daughter's birthday.

Since her friends had Veteran's Day off, we had her birthday tea today. The girls all had a great time. My daughter and I have cooked for two days...we're pooped!

Roasted Carrot Soup
Black Forest Quiche
Jamaican Banana & White Chocolate Raspberry Scones
Cranberry Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Lemon-Pepper Cucumber Sandwiches
Lemon Lime Raspberry Bars
Toll House Cookies, Melissa Style

Earl Grey, Buckingham Palace, Caribbean Christmas, Southern Hospitalitea, Sweet Jasmine Blooming Tea & English Breakfast Decaf

Happy Birthday Melissa! Love, Mom

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I Love These Ideas!

Remember the beautiful Japanese Maple tree we just brought home to our garden? I purchased it at my very favorite garden, High Hand Nursery in Loomis, CA. This isn't just a nursery, it's a destination!

While we were waiting to make our purchase, I snapped a few photos with my cell phone. The picture quality isn't great, but these items just fascinated me, and I wanted to share them.

This tall ceramic pot is planted with succulents. The top is planted similar to a "rock" garden. Then on the sides the holes have a small "hen and chick" type planted at the top & a burro tail planted below. It is going to be spectacular when it grows in some. Did you notice the iron bench with the planted seat beside it?

The nursery has the largest collection of garden art actually in use, that I've ever seen. Below, this planter had just one bronze flower in it, but it was very striking.

Speaking of bronze garden art...Who could resist this snail baby? I think this might be coming home with me if it's still there when I go back the next time!

Oh boy! Do I love what they have done with this old stove! Again, they've used succulents here, but there is another in the garden, which during the spring and summer is planted with very colorful annuals.

But this is my very favorite. It is beautiful in its simplicity. They have takes a piece of bronze wall art, a lily blossom, and laid it face-up in a clay pot, then planted moss around it! Simply gorgeous! And it wouldn't be difficult to duplicate.

I plan to go back to High Hand Nursery for a longer visit, with a better camera soon. There is the Cafe in a beautiful conservatory, the shops in the old fruit packing shed and even a gallery featuring local fine arts. There is just so much to see! By the way, the folks who work in this nursery are not only experts, they are genuinely nice people! And the food in the cafe is delicious, seasonal, and a work of art on a plate!

I linked to their website in the first paragraph of this post. You have to check them out. And if you live in the area and haven't visited, you must!

Enchanted, Chris

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Goodbye Norm!

This is going to be a difficult day for our family. My BFF Kathy (a sister from another mother) is hosting a memorial service for her husband of 30 years.

Norman Lee Wood (born 1/1/42) passed on October 13, 2009. He had been ill. So, while not a complete shock, it is so very sad for us. My heart aches for his wife & son. It also aches for myself & my family, because he was "family".

"Nor-man", we love you & we'll miss you so...


Friday, November 6, 2009

A Fun Gift Idea!

Disclaimer: As many of you know, I am a Star Manager with Tupperware. I very occasionally bring something over from my Tupperware Blog to Refining Life if I think it's a wonderful recipe, good sale or just great info. The following is one of those posts. So if you are in anyway annoyed by this type of posting, here's your chance to give it a pass.

Tupperware is always providing us with great time, money & space-saving ideas. I know this one isn't new, but I think it's pretty cute.

If you aren't into Tupperware, (you're not? *Ü*) this would be really cute made in a great old canning jar with a circle of Christmas fabric tied to the top.

In this case, it is presented in a Tupperware spaghetti dispenser, which is a cool kitchen tool. The special insert allows for easy spaghetti pouring and measuring. Great for breadsticks too! Contents stay fresh and quantities visible. It's a clear container with choice of seal color: Passion (red) or Brilliant Blue.

You'll find the Spaghetti Dispenser and all of Tupperware's Modular Mates® containers on MY WEBSITE, listed under "Storage".

Would you like some printable tags with the recipe? Just go to MyOrganizedKitchen.com & sign up for my monthly newsletter on the right side of the home page. I'll email you some cute tags that have "To & From" on the front and the recipe on the back. You can print these 3"x5" size tags on card stock, punch a hole & tie them onto your container.

Enjoy! Chris

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I won! I won!

Can you believe I won a pair of beautiful pearl earrings? (Click Here to see them!)

One of the blogs I visit nearly every day is Tea Time and Roses. The sweet author of this blog is Beverly, and she is such a talented woman! Her Etsy Shop, CRI Designs, is full of gorgeous vintage inspired jewelry, just like my lovely giveaway gift!

I'd also like to encourage you to visit her A Lilac In My Path blog. You'll find words & photos to refresh your soul.

PLEASE stop by both of her blogs and her CRI Designs shop. You'll be so glad you did!

Have a Happy Day! Chris

Monday, November 2, 2009

I Love Fall Mornings!

We had a glorious weekend in Northern California! The mornings were crisp & cool, the afternoons golden & warm. With the exception of time change (UGH!) it was perfect!

This morning, I walked out onto the back deck and it was the beauty of the morning sent me rushing for my camera.

The sight of the cattle in the neighbor's pasture...

The sun filtering through the almond tree...

The sight of the dew on the lawn...

AND...the newest addition to our garden! Acer Palmatum - Tobiosho! My very own Japanese Maple! One that will tolerate full sun and the dry heat of the Sacramento area. This gorgeous tree is the result of a couple of days spent at one of my favorite places in the world! More about that in another post! Just let it be said that the sight of this tree in my yard makes my heart skip a beat or two!!

I'm going to have a hard time not sitting on the deck all day just admiring this tree!

Happy Monday! Chris