Saturday, August 31, 2013

Asheville, North Carolina in words.....................

Riverside Cemetery..........resting place of famous 
American writers, Thomas Wolfe and O.Henry.

 Asheville shopping. Antiquing stories coming soon.

Asheville's signs are always fabulous.

 Celebrating the 100th birthday this year of the historic 
hotel on the mountainside where many legendary figures 
hung out - such as F. Scott Fitgerald and Zelda!

Finding the most fabulous authentic Spanish 
tapas bar ever! 
More on this one later......right now I'm trying to 
make my version of this gazpacho, yummy!

A fabulous bakery with cinnamon buns and gluten-free 
banana bread to die for.

Currently the most popular sign seen in several 
antiques/vintage shops. I like it.

Enjoy the Labor Day holiday weekend - I'm home again and 
spending it quietly. Where will your grill be heating up?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Heading 'back east' today...........................

On the road again this morning...............heading home and leaving the beautiful western mountains of North Carolina to those lucky souls who live here. Our break was perfect and the weather was kind - we'd expected some rain but it didn't come, instead very warm, clear days with cool nights. Tinges of Autumn beginning to show and within the next month this region will be painted in brilliant color.

Will catch with you when I'm settled back at home.....and show you more of Asheville.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Asheville's delights......................

The perfect sign seen at the Tobacco Barn Antiques

Many of you know the delightful Penny from The Comforts of Home and From Harvest To Table blogs. It's been 5 years in a row that we've managed to get together in Asheville, North Carolina. Penny and her super hubby have amazed and entertained us at several different homes they've worked their magic on, rehabbing often on a huge scale, and decorating in a French country theme. This visit was again a thrill. Seeing a work still in progress at their relatively new to them home high on a mountainside with beautiful views of the Blue Ridge beyond, and enjoying a delicious dinner cooked by Penny, it was again a perfect time with lovely friends. 
Last night, standing on their wide front porch as evening brought the music of cicadas on the soft cooling breeze, I actually felt Autumn in the air at last - life was good and friendship was a blessing.

Penny and Mary about to shop ScreenDoor antiques 

Before the lovely evening on the mountaintop, we 
spent part of the day breezing through favorite 
Asheville antiques venues - and they do have 
some fabulous ones. 
Later I'll show you what I found! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Blue Ridge Mountains.............

My peaceful views, with a little assistance from PicMonkey, 
of the Blue Ridge as we arrived in Asheville, 
North Carolina this afternoon.

Monday, August 26, 2013

As Summer Fades........................

This week DH and I head west to the beautiful North Carolina mountains and one of my favorites places, Asheville. A fun road trip, leaving behind the busy city, the highway taking us through lovely countryside toward the Blue Ridge Mountains. As Summer wanes there will be changing colors on the higher ridges, trees will soon be dressing in shades of gold, red and orange, and the smell of woodsmoke will be wafting on the misty morning air. 

While in Asheville I will be meeting one of my long time, most dear, blog friends again - come back later to see what we get up to, it will definitely be a lot of fun. Wish you could be with us when we go 'treasure hunting' at some great antiques venues.........more on this when, hopefully, I'll have something special to share found in Asheville. I rarely come back empty-handed! 
All the items displayed in this current header were in Asheville antiques shops on another of my trips there.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hello and Goodbye stunning Moscow.................

This is the closing post on my recent visit to Moscow sharing photos of places and odds and ends I found interesting and different. Moscow proved to be a fabulous city, quite different from what I expected and definitely one of the cleanest, most orderly places I've visited.

Driving into the city from the airport, from the bus windows I immediately noticed the mix of old and new architecture. From then on it was a constant, the way the older buildings with beautiful details seemed to remain, and sometimes newer modern buildings were actually built around them. I've never seen this use of space while keeping history in place, and thought it a good idea.

This building was across the street from my hotel...........I loved looking at it from my windows, the color, the wavy iron balconies, columns, and beautiful hand crafted decoration on the stone.

Huge buildings in morning rain along the Moskva River.

 The stunning 16th century Novodevichy Convent (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

Many statues around the city, don't know who this one is, but a great perching place for resting birds......

.....although the great Fyodor Dostoevsky apparently lucked out on this day, no birds befriending him, perhaps the reason he looked so sad and forlorn facing the Metro sign.

Edited: Ooops! Friend Penny has better eyesight than me! 
She spotted a bird on the shoulder - I must have thought it was part of his collar! There is also one by his thigh I think now I look closer! 
Thanks Penny - and when we go treasure hunting this week I will be so glad to have you there to spot the good things!

More old buildings painted in such tranquil colors.

GUM is the gigantic former Soviet Union department store across from Red Square. Now a quite beautiful shopping mall, its interesting history from Catherine II of Russia's initial commission of the building through the present day can be read HERE.
Where construction was in progress, I immediately loved the huge canvas covers hiding whatever dirty, noisy things were going on in the background......and many were painted with cute kids.

 I've seen versions of this in American cities where building 
was active, but not on this huge scale.

 This appeared to be Moscow's version of Starbucks - saw 
the sign often.

I'm literally saying goodbye to Moscow here - these blue and gold onion domes being the final, and perhaps loveliest ones I saw on my way to the airport. My limo driver was laughing as I went through contortions to get shots from the window as we sped down the highway.

I would like to return to Moscow and spend more time. However, if I have the chance to see Russia again I will probably opt for a visit to St. Petersburg. Have you been there?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Secretary becomes collector!

I once was a secretary.  
Perhaps I should say I've been many secretary, medical secretary, 
art studio/advertising agency secretary in the private sector.
I then worked in the public sector, state government human resources offices, and eventually a state psychiatric hospital. Suddenly my title changed, I became an administrative assistant. The term secretary became old-fashioned, seemingly around the same time typewriters and steno pads were ousted by 
Dictaphones and computers.

The secretary as a desk seems to have lived a much longer
  life, and it has a very interesting
more HERE.

This week I took a little time to change some 
of the bits displayed on the secretary's doors. 
When I purchased this antique piece from 
SuzAnna's Antiques several years ago 
it was already painted, all I did was make the 
padded bulletin boards for the doors, attached 
with Velcro they have become quite useful. 

The secretary lives in my guest room. Sometimes I sit 
here with my sleek silver laptop, often reminiscing about 
the old days tapping away on a bulky black typewriter.
I completed a two year advanced secretarial course at an 
English technical college, learning to type on a manual, 
and flipping the lined pages of the steno pad as I 
learned Pitman shorthand. 
Later, working my first job at a British insurance company, 
still used a behemoth manual.....then, 
moving to Washington, D.C., in my first job I learned 
to use what was the amazing IBM Selectric typewriter.
How times have changed......and where on earth have those 
fifty plus years gone.
What equipment did you learn to type on?
I just know some of you are young enough to have never 
actually used a typewriter!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Change of Mood.................

I awoke yesterday morning feeling a little better than on the past several.......and although it was not brilliant sunshine streaming in the windows, there was more light and bright going on for a short while before the clouds rolled in.

Our somewhat dreary and depressing so-called Summer months in the southeast USA have been a disappointment this least for for those who love heat, humidity and scorching sun. For me, a dyed in the wool (love wearing wool!) Brit, who almost died in the heat when I first moved here, this weather is OK.

Sharing here my great last minute find at SuzAnna's Antiques on Sunday. Last minute because I was picking granddaughter Jasmin up from work there, and the shop was all locked up when I spied this pair of beautiful old, grey, metal with patina thrown in, planters in the outdoor area. Fortunately 'Mr. SuzAnna's Antiques', the wonderful Bruce, was leaving too and gave me a great price, thank you very much, so they came home with me. 
Bob's question did not deter me -- the usual something like, "But what will you put in them?" 
Right now nothing - I love them empty on the dining room table.

Have you read/used this amazing story/cookbook? I've had it several years and pulled it off the shelf a few days ago to read it again and search for some authentic French recipes. Vincent's last 70 paintings were done in 70 days in room number 5 of the Auberge Ravoux. Sadly, due to progressive mental illness, it is said that Vincent committed suicide in the same room. 

What in the world are these you are thinking. Apparently two charming little bunny rabbit cages - discovered at The Depot in Concord, NC a couple of weeks ago. Guess they have patina too, or should we just say rust! Cute locks though and spotlessly clean thankfully. They are going on the floor as they're perfect to hold file folders containing all my stuff.......such as gardening, decorating, projects planned, pages torn from magazines, travel memorabilia, computer notes etc. 

Have you been treasure hunting lately? 
Show and tell time...........we really want 
to see what you discovered!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Moscow in the sunshine................

Sorry, left you in the lurch many weeks back. 
Promised you more on my visit to Moscow, see HERE
and then life got in the way. 
Has a habit of doing that doesn't it, sometimes 
good other times not so!

Click images to enlarge ~

That murky morning heading to Red Square.

My 'PicMonkey postcard' - yes, I returned in 
the afternoon after the rain, camera in hand, and was able to 
see beautiful St. Basil's and much more of the city in sunshine.

Some clouds but glorious sunshine too.

 Looking across the city from the Sparrow Hills - highest 
vantage point to get great views of the expanse of the city.
Above, the panoramic view on the wet, misty morning......

............then later in the afternoon sunshine.

The Trinity Church on Sparrow Hills in 
the rain................

..........later in the afternoon sunshine with several brides, 
and the colorful balloon lady!

 More views from the high Sparrow Hills across to a 
modern area of the city.

 Beautiful Cathedral of Christ the Saviour - the tallest 
Orthodox Christian Church in the world.

 The Kremlin.......

....and just outside the Kremlin is the famous Red Square.

St. Basil's Cathedral again - wish I'd had more time to 
explore inside which is said to be as beautiful as outside.

I took a lot of photos in Moscow. The city was busy, 
fast-paced, huge, and holds 11 million people. 
It is definitely a tantalizing place for visitors and I 
would like to return and spend more time there. 

The Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Moscow

I'm working on one more Moscow post to conclude my recent Japan/Russia trip. 
The architecture was quite stunning, buildings old and new 
much more beautiful, and definitely more colorful than 
expected, and little things made the overall city 
a joy to visit.