Friday, March 27, 2015


It's odd looking at the pictures I take on the glass coffee table, a little surreal.  Everything looks like it's floating.   I have so many pretty spring pieces that I keep putting out, there's no room for a mug of coffee or a book.  I've never been called a minimalist. :)

Enough about health, I just sort of feel that spring breeze saying, "Come out of hibernation, Jane.  Breathe in the fresh air, breathe out.  Holds those abs in and raise your arms over your head..."  Oops, I drifted off there.

I'm excited about Easter.  At last count I have 14 people coming for dinner.  Next week I'm going to make a tablescape and I'll put it on here.  I mentioned that I'm going to do a lot of mixing and matching so it's probably a good idea to see how it all looks.  And I hadn't realized the day was creeping up so quickly.  

I sometimes feel like my grocery shopping trips are like my sort of "Club Med".  Who needs friends when you can be surrounded by multiple chatty strangers while checking out artichokes?  Seriously, I casually asked a woman how she prepares them, I've had them in restaurants and only have a vague idea of the clipping and trimming and removing the "choke".  So she started to explain her method of steaming them when another customer, a tall slender man with wire glasses, a beard and a French accent, suddenly appeared and said. "Garlic.  Garlic is the key."  And the woman looked at me as if he had never interrupted and said, "Lemon juice."  As if this wasn't enough, the boy stocking the cauliflower at the end of the bin called out. "Parmesan cheese!"  Well, this went on for awhile as I made the mistake in asking how to pick the best ones.  We now had six hands grabbing and squeezing artichokes and chattering about ripeness.  So tonight I'm making steamed artichokes with lemon, garlic and Parm.  I'm wondering how my little Artichoke Group is doing.  :)

I had the nicest lady helping me at Trader Joe's the other day,  it was like having a personal shopper.   One of you girls mentioned these little crunchy pea snacks they carry, so I asked an employee about them and she insisted on walking me right over to the snack aisle to show me what they had.  Then I asked her where the ricotta cheese was and she had me follow her right over to that area.  She glanced in my cart and saw that I had the pizza dough that the store makes up fresh, and her eyes sort of lit up.  "Oh, you're going to make a pizza with the ricotta?  Good choice!"  So we chatted about that, she makes something similar and we exchanged ideas.  And then she saw some fresh Eucalyptis in my cart as well, and started to give me ideas for crafting with it (a bit involved), and she also said that she keeps a few stems in her bathroom and the steam from the shower makes it smell heavenly.  Lovely lady.  And really, sometimes you may smile at strangers and they may just look away, this happens quite a bit to me because smiling is like a reflex for me.  And last Friday?  You would have not wanted to be around me when I was trying to order fish at the grocery store and the employee behind the counter got a little snarky with me.  I wanted to just cancel the order and walk away in a serious huff.  But it was Friday.  And it's Lent.  So I was nice.   I did however,  suggest they take one of the girls away from the smoothie bar and get her behind the seafood bar.  After all, it's Lent.

I'll explain quickly how I threw this pizza together after reading a post at New House New Home.  Feel free to check out her recipe.  Doesn't this look exceptional?  I used the pizza dough from Trader Joe's, and as the nice lady there advised. pre-bake the dough crust for about ten minutes or it will just get soggy (this has happened to me).

Anyway...what I'm leading up to is how much I pass the time listening to music in my car. I really like the Top Forties.  I guess I just love Pop Culture all around.  As Oscar Wilde said~Youth is wasted on the young.  Not that I want to be young (and foolish) again, I just enjoy the heck out of so many forms of entertainment.  No, I never watched Masterpiece Theater, (although I spent my fair share of time watching Monsterpiece Theater, hosted by Alistair Cookie, on Sesame Street back in the late 80's and early 90's).  But I'm not ashamed to say that I watch some reality TV and never miss Jimmy Fallon.  Enough...I just want you to have a look at one of the most popular British singing groups with fans all over the world.  I've always loved them, the "boy band" insignia and all.  I'm not a fan of looking at videos on blogs or social media, but this is worth it.  Turn your volume up, sit back and then enjoy this wonderful performance from Saturday Night Live by the fabulous group, One Direction.

See you gals soon!

Jane xx


Pondside said...

Jane you are too cute! A wonky eyebrow and freckles make you unique and, frankly, adorable! It's good that you've found out about the vitamin D. I take a supplement every day. Women, especially, in our hemisphere don't get enough.
The pizza, the artichoke shopping and your flowers - just a lovely, newsy post!

Terra said...

How good you found about about Vitamin D, I hope this is the cure for you. If you see an imperfection in yourself, just tell yourself that God doesn't make junk. It is true, that wonky eyebrow (or whatever) was made by Him. I shop at TJs often too.

Lynne said...

Wow! Thank goodness your doctor caught your vitamin D deficiency! We are notorious for this health issue here in the PNW! I have been taking a supplement for six years. It was the first thing my hematology oncologist called out when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

The "D" just may help out with the thinning eyebrows. I love my Diorshow Brow Styler...a little spendy but does the trick for me. Your selfie is darling!

. . . the pizza and artichokes sing to me just as lovely as One Direction. That Simon Cowell knows how to put a boy band together, doesn't he?
Have a great weekend!

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

I had the same problem with Vitamin D deficiency. My doctor prescribed some heavy duty supplements and I started feeling better within a week. You will see and feel a difference.
You are making me want to go to Trader Joe's. I've never been and there is one about 50 miles from me, so I think a trip is in order because JANE SAID SO!!!
Love your selfie. You are so pretty and I wish I had your hair. Love freckles too. I have them.
Mr. Sissie does the grocery shopping here and always tells me about conversations around the produce, etc.!
Have a beautiful week.


Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I love your story about the artichokes. One of the things that everybody has in common is food and our passion for it. It was also nice to hear about strangers talking to each other rather than walking by with their heads down texting into their phones. Old fashion communication is so much better and healthier. There is no running into shelves.

Anonymous said...

Its so good to hear you back to your bouncy happy self, probably the health news helped,,, I wondered if you mind me asking,,,,Did you take a supplement before?

Your glass table is the perfect platform to display, it truly does give a floating appearance,,,
fresh flowers seem to just make everything complete and I know I need to indulge more often.
You r grocery shopping sounds like a wonderful experience, seems like most workers are hidden when I need one, lol,

Nancy's Notes said...

Oh Jane, you always make me smile! I'm so happy I'm back, yes I am! I'm so happy you found that Vit. D is going to help you! That is huge and what a blessing to get to the bottom of your issue. I loved all of your tidbits and your artichoke buddies cracked me up! Your pizza looked scrumptious and I'm off to Trader Joes soon! Have a fun weekend!

Betsy Brock said...

Our family doctor put us all on vitamin D! Not prescription, but 2000 mgs daily. I hope it makes you feel better....the deficiency is related to so many things!

Yum on that pizza!

Primitive Stars said...

Morning Jane, glad the Doc caught the vitamin D deficiency. Pizza looks so yummy and flowers so pretty. You still look marvelous even with your wonky eyebrow I think. Mine are terrible as I am getting older, yuk!!! Blessings Francine.

Melanie said...

Good morning! I'm glad your doctor tested you for vitamin D deficiency. I guess you won't be surprised that I knew everything you said about it in your post. ;-) I've been taking a 2000 iu supplement every day for years (my levels are fine/normal). Brian takes a 5000 iu supplement as his levels were a little low. Who knows? It may even help you sleep better. Wouldn't that be wonderful? I love chatting with other customers and/or employees in Trader Joes. Just the other day, I had the nicest conversation with a British woman (dressed so lovely with a cute little pea coat, hat and pretty boots) about yogurt while we were both looking at it. TJs also has the nicest, friendliest, most helpful employees of any store I've ever shopped in. They will always take you to the place where you're looking for something instead of just directing you. And if something isn't on the shelves, they will go in the back room and look for it. If it's not there, they will tell you the date it will be in. Amazing customer service! I always buy a bunch of fresh flowers when I'm there, too. Right now it's daffodils in my kitchen and bedroom. Your pizza looks delish, nom nom. xoxo

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Happy Saturday Jane, I think your selfie is adorable!
Me too with a Vitamin D deficiency. Mine is caused by an autoimmune problem. Been taking D for many years and it also helps with pain.
What is that amazing dark green flower that looks like a Pom pom of grass from Trader Joes?
Your Easter plans sound fun, I wish my kitchen wasn't torn apart with a little remodel and I could cook at home, BUT not this year. I will soon post about what we're up to, exciting changes.
Your pizza looks yummy and thank you for the TJ dough tip - I had a disappointing experience with their dough before so I'll try prebaking for 10 minutes. Wish they wrote that tip on their plastic dough bag.
Another share of mine ... I'm a Jimmy Kimmel fan.
Easter John, I and Grand Gabrielle are going out to an Easter dinner. Gabby picked the restaurant Washington Inn in Cape May, NJ. It is rated one of the top 100 in our country. Wishing you happiness and a joyful Easter.
Sending love,

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Hi Jane, I love your blog and confess to lurking for awhile now! I'm going to stop that right now and sign up as a follower.
I just wanted to put in my 2 cents about Vitamin D. I'm not severely deficient, but enuf that my doc put me on 1000 mg a day. I really think I can tell a difference when I forget to take it.
Your selfie is really cute and I think your eyebrows are just fine!
Have a wonderful weekend! ~Cheryl

Barbara F. said...

Hi Jane, love this post. Your writing style is so great. Watching reality tv is my guilty pleasure! And I never miss the other late night Jimmy - Kimmel. lol. I love TJ's, their service is top notch. I wish I needed a pencil for my eyebrows. I get them waxed! Of course my eyelashes are much sparser. :-(

Susie said...

Blondie, I enjoyed reading about what you have been doing. Love your flowers. You are a good cook. now about those stop tearing yourself down. You are young and beautiful, Love who you are. Honestly you are very beautiful. You have good health it girl. Bless your heart, xoxo,Susie

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Glad you found out about the vit D! I hope it does the trick for you. Your pizza looks really good!

Vel Criste said...

Vitamin D is all the rave right now in medicine, since I deal with kids, I only give it to newborn babies who are purely breast fed or to those kids with obvious deficiency, the opinion on adults is still up in the air, but keep us posted on your progress!

Love Trader Joe's, I just wish there's one close to where we live! You looks great dear, I on the other hand take lot's of selfies! LOL! over-confidence? to-much self-esteem? braggart? I don't know, but one thing for sure, I'm not a shy person! Lol! ;-) I'm the type who will sing when asked, dance when asked, no ifs , no buts, I do, if I can, especially if it's just for fun and I won't be humiliated! LOL! life is too short, social media, has made it easier to leave our digital marks everywhere, and I am one of those on board for sure! ;-)

Boxwood Avenue said...

Here's to hoping that the June results are what you need to hear!! Love it when something seems to be revealed after a long time of guessing. Happy for you : ) xo Chloe

Brenda Pruitt said...

I hear we're getting a Trader Joes. Only decent thing they can do since the whole state doesn't have even one IKEA or that home store everyone goes to. I want to find a place for cheap decent fresh flowers, and I hope Trader Joes is it! Oh, and I almost forgot. After I broke both sides of my ankle they put me on 4000 Units or whatever of Vitamin D per day.

Elaine said...

Nice post. Love looking at the coffee table and seeing your books. Isn't Romantic Prairie Style Fantastic? There was a magazine too but I only saw one issue.

Vitamin D who knew!

Elaine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I would never have noticed your eyebrow unless you pointed it out. I just saw a very pretty lady. I am very interested in hearing about Vitamin D and Exema. I have been doctoring with a patch right on the arch of my foot since last October and it is driving me crazy. It hurts to walk. When you find out more, please let us know. Thanks.

jp@A Green Ridge said...

Vitamin D is CRUCIAL and so many are deficient so glad you found out and are able to help correct. Too cute about the selfie and freckles...who cares? are adorable they way YOU ARE! Wishing that pizza didn't have so much sodium for the Pres though!...:)JP

Beth said...

Love your selfie, Jane! Nothing wrong with your brow - you are pretty! Love your hair. Glad you found out about your Vit D deficiency so you can take care of it and be healthier. Your flowers are lovely. I have never cooked artichokes and have only eaten the canned variety.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Love your selfie, Jane! You are so pretty and, apparently, as critical about yourself as I am about myself! : ) We are our own worst critics. Ha - funny you mention brows. I get mine waxed since I can't really pluck with my reading glasses on and I DO need my reading glasses on to see what I'm doing. The girl went a little too thin for my liking the last time and I have to make sure I mention it when I go this coming week (in a nice way, of course). You are right, they don't grow back as fast as they used to so I can't afford someone making them thinner.

Your artichokes sound wonderful! My Mom does them with garlic. I will have to get her recipe, which I'm sure is quite simple, and do them myself one day. I'd love to try them with the parmesan cheese.

Debbie said...

Jane, I am glad your doctor found your Vita D deficiency. I hope it makes you feel better. I just love Trader Joe's. Last summer we were having a terrible rain storm and one of the employees at TJ's was walking us to our cars with an umbrella. Such a high level of customer service. I think I'm on the same flower kick as you mentioned. I bought three bunches of flowers at the store and had them all over the house. Now I just have to make sure my little cat stops eating them!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

Isn't it funny how we never heard much about Vitamin D a few short years ago and now it seems to be responsible for everything including the ozone layer, ISIS and cellulite :). Your story reminded me a little bit of Brenda's. It took so long to get properly diagnosed, but oh what a relief it is!

Those artichokes sound delish to this lemon lovin italian ;).

I miss not being near a Trader Joes but when I go to NY about once a month sometimes I go back there, but mostly for the nuts. lol


Linda said...

I love your eyebrow!!!
Good for you in finding our about your vitamin D deficiency! Amber had that and takes a prescription strength supplement and is hoping for some extra time in the sun this year!
I love Trader Joe's and was there yesterday! They do seem to hire the nicest people, don't they? The checker heard me tell Louis Dean (I was on the phone) to get some canned peaches at Sam's. It was a super quick call and when I hung up, the guy said he wanted to come to MY house! I asked if his mother made good peach cobbler and he said - firmly - "NO! But my grandmother did and taught me how!" We both use the same type of recipe. You make the patter and pour it into a pan that has melted butter in it and dump the peaches on top. The batter rises and covers the peaches as it bakes. He gave me a few hints on how HE made it even better and I gave him a few hints on how I make it even better! Put them together - we now have a killer peach cobbler recipe!

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

You are to funny Jane. Love the post and your great comments. Vit D is very important. Would you believe I am on Folic Acid, that's what you give mothers to be, plus D, B6 and B12. i am feeling so much better and have lots more energy. I would have never noticed your eyebrow, if you didn't mention it. you are a very pretty lady. Did you like your artichokes? The pizza looks wonderful.
Have been busy working in the yard and loving the weather - was 92 yesterday, but cools off at night, so good sleeping weather.
Got a sweet thank you from your son and DIL, thanking my for the throw and booties. Kiss Elsie for me.
Have a wonderful Happy Easter.

Sarah said...

This post is exactly why we all love you, Jane. You are too cute with your self criticism and grocery store stories. I'm still smiling and giggling. You look absolutely adorable in that selfie, by the way!
Hugs, my friend!

Bluebird49 said...

Never too many pictures of flowers on any blog! I love them.
I had SO much to say--then, WHAM--- when you went to the thin eyebrows, I forgot everything else. Mine have always been thin, straggly, awful...ugh, and I have tried everything in the book. Now, my hair is silvering, and I can't find a pencil light enough that will still show up brows--so I do not know what to do! If I really go hard in on them--they look--AWFUL! Too dark--too "un-real!"
My SIls had such bad ones they SHAVED them off and painted them on! OH! BAD. BAD. BAD! You can be sure I will never do that. My mom had very thin eyebrows too, and her only "must have" makeup was an eyebrow pencil. ha! She forgot it on her honeymoon, and Daddy would light up wooden matches for her, and she'd use the char on the end of the match to darken her brown. She said she knew it was true love when my daddy suggested that for her!(Blews Daddy!)

I hope the Vitamin D prescrip helps. I had to take it like that last year, too...but it didn't help the problem I've been discussing with you. I got it back up to a good level, and now I take Vit. D3 OTC everyday. I wanted it to solve ALL my problems but I never felt any differently. Maybe you're not too far gone in every way--like I am! ;)

There should be an e-mail for you--and I'm now on Instagram; if you have noticed I'm following you/your blog on it--so if you want, you could have the chance to see a "selfie" of me on my Instagram "page---which I only got for my grandson! lol Anyway--follow me if you'd like! I'm "out there!"

You look like a 30-year-old in your selfie, by the way! Go Blondie!

Talk soon!

xx Trudy

Karen said...

Oh Jane - we are all so hard on ourselves. I have freckles (and sun damage spotsas I age) on my face... I've always found freckles endearing, nothing to hide.

As for the eyebrows, I don't have the patience for a brow pencil so people are stuck looking at mine as they are, which is thin and unperfect. In the grand scheme of things, this is one thing I don't have to fret about at all.

Gypsy Heart said...

I'm so glad you found out about the Vitamin D deficiency ~ I've had that happen off and on. Really makes a huge difference once it gets in your system. A friend of mine mentioned it this week too.

Please don't be so self-critical! I used to be and it doesn't help. You are beautiful and a couple of "differences" makes you unique. We're all in the real world ~ not the world of make-up artists, hairdressers and air brushing. :)

Hmmm, the pizza looks and sounds divine! Love Trader Joe's ~ so many unique items, gorgeous flowers and predominantly friendly employees.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Barb said...


So glad things are working out with your blood work and you are getting answers...what a relief!

Your post is amazing...just full of little looks into your life. Your picture is you.

Been keeping your lake situation and your little dog in my prayers.

You remind me soooo much of what blogging used to be like. Lovely!

Barb xo

RURAL said...

Ok Jane, where do I start...first, what a delightful post, there are so many ways my brain is going that I don't know where to start...but that's my kind of day today.

Oh I love Trader Joes, we don't have one here in Canada...and with Target pulling out, shame on it for behaving the way it did, lol...we probably will never get one.

Do you make your own ricotta? It's beyond easy!! And tastes delightful.

A vitamin D deficiency? Wouldn't that be wonderful to be the cure...YES!!! I hope it all gets better soon.

Hugs Jen

SImple and Serene Living said...

I love Trader Joes and they are definitely the best place for cut flowers. I found out three years ago that I was deficient in Vitamin D so the doctor prescribed massive doses. I felt so much better and not I make sure to be checked regularly. You of course look beautiful in your selfie. xo Laura

Rita C at Panoply said...

Hey beautiful, I'm just catching up on weekend reads - was out of town. I have freckles too - zillions - and just pray they won't ever be basal cell, but chances are good with my family's history.
Love how you strike up the conversation with the grocery shoppers and staff. And having 14 for Easter - I feel your pain. I'm still dodging the bullets of having anyone (getting a little late now, but my sister in law won't commit, so we'll see). Good luck, and don't forget to take pictures - it's hard to remember when you're in the middle of it all!

podso said...

Your eyebrow, which I would not have noticed, makes you all the cuter. I do love TJ for the flowers and everything else! I guess we all could do with a little more time in the sun--without sunscreen--it sure is a delicate balance, isn't it? But glad you found out and are taking a supplement and I hope fixing the deficiency helps with the other stuff too. Have fun preparing for your Easter feast!

susan said...

I'm glad the answer to your health issues is vitamin D - an easy fix.
I love Trader Joe's. I don't have one very close by since we moved, but it's so worth the trip. I just found out that everything that has their private label is made without GMO's - great to know.
Can't wait to see your Easter tables cape - you have such a good eye. I know it's going to be beautiful.
Great selfie! You look like you're 18 years old.

Traci said...

I know how you feel about eyebrows. Mine used to be soooo thick & then I started having them waxed & all of a sudden they became thin. So annoying. I'm a HUGE boy band fan! I have tickets for NKOTB in May & I saw One Direction in September.

Stonecropsister said...

Hi Jane,
I will look forward to seeing your table decor for dinner, I know it will be wonderful, very unique. I'm not having easter dinner this year, and I miss it when I cannot have the big dinner. But I plan on baking something fabulous and taking it, and so I am looking forward to that part. I've read a few posts from my fav bloggers today about spring making its presence felt -- its a good thing. I think we are all ready for a new season to begin. xx Nancy

Maria Elena said...

Jane, I love all the vignette on your coffee table. So pretty! Glad the doctor figured out what was wrong. Very interesting about vitamin D, I am probably as low as you. You look beautiful in your selfie. Love your hair!

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

I love the artichoke story! Suddenly I pictured you in some outdoor market, possibly in sunny Italy ( where you were getting plenty of Vitamin D ) with many people chatting with you as you selected your artichokes! :)

emily barlocker scott said...

I secretly hate you because even your car selfie is hot. I wish I looked that good on a normal day!!!!!!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Your selfie is lovely, Jane! And your adventures in the grocery store made me smile! Glad you found out about the Vitamin husband and I were both deficient...long winters don't help.

Maggie said...

Jane you are the best! Love your newsy chatty posts about everything and, music (sorry to be the one to break the bad news but Zane has left One Direction), & veggie tales from Trader Joe's.
Great news about the blood test results, Vitamin D is the answer!
My tip for wonky eyebrows - Bobbi Brown's Light Brow Kit

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hey Jane,
You look beautiful as always!
Love your pretty flowers and the artichoke story.
You know I was told to take vitamin D as well.
I guess no matter our levels we have a harder time absorbing it as we get older.
Sounds like you will have a great Easter get together.
We are still planning ours.
Everything has been baby, baby, baby.
He is doing well though and we all love him to pieces.
Looking towards May now, I need to look for a weekend that will work for all of us.
Hugs friend.
We are supposed to be 70 today but only 40's next week. Ugh. I want spring to stay.

Kit said...

LOL! Don't you worry we all have our quirks and imperfections. It's what makes us lovable. :) Kit

Rue said...

I think you're beautiful :)

The pizza looks yummy and the flowers are gorgeous.

I'm glad you finally found out what is going on with your body. I'm thinking I might be low myself now.


J said...

I love your writing! Just a meandering stroll through life the way it should be - one thing at a time, done thoughtfully and joyfully!

Donna@LivingFromHappiness said...

Jane I am popping over from the Over 40 Blogging group...where to start with great musings...Vitamin D and yummy pizza...what more could someone ask for!