What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

A Few of My Favorite Things~Updated

1/21/2020:  I last updated this page about 8 years ago when we first moved to our home in Salt Springs! We moved out of that house this past July (2019).   I hope to bring it more up to date in the near future...so bear with me!  Some of these pictures are from the Salt Springs house, but most are actually from the home prior to that one, where we lived for about five years.

Previous update:
2012:  I took a few more pictures inside the  Salt Springs house to add to the list of a few of my favorite things:

This is my writing nook...the desk where I am sitting now as
I write my blog and talk to my friends on facebook!

This is our "fireplace", although it is not a working fireplace.
We hope to add some electric or gas logs in the future to add
ambience to the living room and warmth on a chilly day!

Next to my writing nook desk area is our "game table"...the
place where we hope to have some fun times with friends
and family playing games...cards, chess, scrabble, whatever
you like! The table stretches out for larger groups...UNO!
I hope this will soon become one of our favorite places in the

I thought it was about time I updated this page since we have recently moved to a new house, which I call our "Camp in the Woods" house.  I hope to add more pictures of the outdoors soon, but today was a rainy day, so it wasn't conducive to outdoor photography.  However, I have added a few pictures of some of my favorite places inside the house...which is still a work in progress and will be for a long time!  But for now, these are a few of the corners and spaces inside that I have determined are my favorite places.  There are more, but I will have to take a few more pictures before posting them.  (Also need to dust first!)  So here we go, as of today, March 11, 2012:
This first picture I have entitled "The Reading Nook"...Today being a rather rainy Sunday afternoon I found myself gravitating toward my rocking chair in the corner of the dining room/kitchen.  This is a cozy spot to sit and have a cup of tea and pick up one of my favorite books about Tea Parties and Tea Cups....

The Reading Nook~ Even Baby Elva enjoys sitting here
with me while I read...
Today's choice readings were from the following special books that were gifts from loved ones and friends:
"Timeless Treasures, The Charm and Romance of Treasured Memories",  by Emilie Barnes with paintings of teapots and teacups and other treasured antiques by Sandy Lynam Clough...actually I had given this particular book to my mother for Mother's Day back in 1998.  I brought it back to my home after my dear mother departed this earth to find her treasures in heaven in 2006. The inscription I had written to her in the front of the book said, "To My Wonderful Mother ~ Dorothea Tedlie Mursch, Who has given me so many "timeless treasures" in life to enjoy!  I love you and thank you for the treasure of having you as my Mother. Love Pam."

The next little book I was enjoying was another by Emilie Barnes and Sandy Lynam Clough, entitled, "If Teacups Could Talk...Sharing a Cup of Kindness with Treasured Friends."  I actually have two copies of this particular book, because I had given one to my mother for her birthday back in 1995, and because I loved the book so much, I had also purchased a copy for myself at the same time. It became such a favorite that I know I bought other copies and gave them to other friends as gifts.  In the flyleaf of this book to my mother I wrote, "To My Dearest Mother~ Who taught me the joy of making everything extra-special~Share this little book with your other daughter and daughters-in-law and granddaughters and all the ladies who come to join you for your delicious pies, cookies, and other precious times of "tea" together!  Thank you for making everything so special!  Love Always, Your Daughter, Pamela Anne Mursch Steiner..."

When looking through both of these copies of this particular book, I discovered something so very touching that it brought happy tears to my eyes.  In my copy of the book I had placed a letter from my mother, written about a year after she had received the gift of her book, and she said to me,
"Dearest Pam...I was reading the dear little book you sent me for my 1995 birthday, "If Teacups Could Talk" ~ and so I'm sipping a cup of English Tea!  When you come down we will have a cup together~ using my best cups!"
What brought the tears to my eyes was when I opened the copy of the same book that I had given to her (again, I received this book back when she passed away), I found a letter tucked inside that I had written to her, just after I had received her letter to me apparently, according to the dates, and it really touched me that she had saved my letter in her book, just like I had saved her letter in my book!  My note to her read,
"Dearest Mom (&Daddy too), ...Your sentiments regarding having a cup of tea with me inspired me to write on this note paper (the note paper was a picture of a china teacup)!  Maybe we can do that one day very soon!"
 As I went on to read the note, it was apparent that we were in the process of another of our famous "moves"...at that time we were living in Maine, and we were trying to get moved back to Florida to be near our family there.  We did, in fact, move back just a few months after writing those notes, and we did indeed have many wonderful cups of tea together.

The "Tea-Room" Bookshelf in my reading nook corner of the dining room.

Another view of my Reading Nook in the Dining Room of
our new house.

The "Sun Porch"

Here is another special place in our new house...what I am calling the "Sunporch"...which was created when we divided the larger family room into a master bedroom for us, leaving this section as a little sunporch.  I love this little area that leads out to our back porch/patio.  It is still a work in progress also, but so far this is what it looks like.  Again, I have a collection of old fashioned romances and adventure books here, so I anticipate this being another little reading area in the future...when I can find some comfortable chairs that will fit out here. 

Our new bedroom

This picture to the left is our new master bedroom, which I am still working on curtains, etc., but this was the room that was created out of a large family room.  I love this room and the windows behind our bed.  When I lay down on a lazy afternoon to take a little nap, I look up and out the windows above my head and it looks like we are living in a tree house!  I absolutely love it!!! I always wanted to live in a tree house! Really!!

The "Window Wall"

This picture to the right is the "window wall", which is actually an enclosed entry to what used to be the former family room that is now our bedroom.  I didn't want to permanently shut off the view coming in from those windows in our new bedroom from the foyer on the other side, so we put this window in the new wall we created. We are still working on the shelves, etc. on this wall, which have been created from a large board from a cedar tree on my Dad's property...the last remaining board from that tree...and my son is creating shelves from it ....but we had a few snags, as the board had a large crack down the center, so this is still a work in progress as well.  But I love the window wall and what it means to me...

Another view of the "window wall"

The Living Room - at least one half of it anyway...more to come later.

The other picture is a part of the living room...my other reading area in the house! (Did you know I loved to read so much?)  I will post more pictures of the rest of the house later...still working on other special places...and I need to clean up some places before taking pictures for the whole world to see! 

We are excited to be in our new home...our "Camp in the Woods" house.  It is very special in many ways to us...and I anticipate many long years of sharing the adventures of this home with you.  So stay tuned for more good stuff to come.    From here on down is the original post on this page...from our last house.  The stuff inside is still the same stuff...it all came with us!  Thank you for spending this time with me in my new home. I hope you will come and have a real cup of tea with me someday, and stay awhile and read a good book in one of my reading nooks!!!  Or just visit and laugh with me.  I value your friendship...even if we have never truly met in person!!!  Maybe we will someday!!! Until then...please keep coming here to visit often!!

Oh...and OUTSIDE our new house in the woods are these beautiful
wisteria blossoms growing on our courtyard privacy fence!
Go to: Thorns Among Vines-The Fruit of My Labor  to read more about this!

This page is a work in progress...These are a few of my favorite things that have been collected over the years. Amazingly, as I look at all these lovely ladies (dolls), teapots and tea cups, antiques and other precious mementos, I am reminded of the many friends, loved ones and ancestors who have contributed to this collection...some are still living, and others have gone on to that heavenly city where neither moth, nor rust, or dust can ever destroy... For the latest additions to some of my favorite things, please read the blog entitled "I Come by It Honestly"  at the following link:  http://pamelasopenwindow.blogspot.com/2011/06/i-come-by-it-honestly.html
The Teapots were all gifts..the three from the right are Hall Teapots. The Aladden Teapot was from Nanny Martin. The Blue and Rose ones belonged to my Grandma Mursch.  The blue and white on the far left was a gift from a friend.

 My Victorian Friends...
These beautiful belles were gifts from my husband

(click on pictures to enlarge viewing, then back arrow to the blog)

 Margie Doll from my childhood...given to me by my Aunt Margie on my seventh birthday...
and Valerie, a gift from my Dad for Christmas one year!  Margie's dress was lovingly made by my mother.  Teapot and tea cozy from my friend Paula.

 These four young ladies represent my mother-in-law and her three sisters:  Daisy, Vivian (my mother in law), Nellie, and Dorothy.  Decorative plate depicts a  Child's Tea Party with her dollies...a birthday gift to me this year from my son.

This China Cabinet belonged to my husband's
Grandmother, Pearl Sarah Elizabeth Waters Martin
Most of the china was hers as well except for a few
pieces I have added over the years.

Hoosier Cupboard from Nanny Martin
I restored this cabinet many years ago...You can read about this in a  blog I wrote on this previously. http://pamelasopenwindow.blogspot.com/2010/05/thoughts-on-restoration.htmlIt was quite
a project, as there were about six layers of paint on the cabinet, and the bottom layer was called
"Lincoln Grey", which was a baked on enamel paint that was original to the cupboard when it was manufactured
back in the early 1900's. (1920's most likely).  That enamel coating did not want to strip off very easily, and it became
quite an obsession for me to complete this project...almost cost me my life breathing fumes for a prolonged period of time...but the result was worth the effort...don't you think?

The stories about this cupboard are numerous...so many
wonderful things were prepared right on this
cupboard...biscuits, pies, cookies, cakes...all mixed
with large portions of love.
The Hoosier Cupboard was the only real kitchen cabinet Nanny Martin had in her kitchen back in the
days of living on the Pirie Estate and then later in their own home built by Granddaddy Martin. She kept her
flour, sugar and spices in this cupboard, along with all the other ingredients necessary
to bake biscuits and other special treats for her family.

Many of the items seen here actually came from her kitchen...the meat grinder, the wooden bowl, blue pitcher,
the cookbooks, and the vintage dish towels embroidered by her own hands.  Yes, these are indeed special treasures.

Wonder what's cooking today? The sifter also came from Nanny's kitchen.  Note also the sugar bin and flour sifter that are attached to the cabinet.  Those were unique to the genuine Hoosier Cupboard. 

A few of my favorite books... The pictures above are of my husband's grandmother (l) Pearl Sarah Elizabeth Waters Martin, the little girl in the middle
is my grandmother, Flora Sheets Tedlie (my mother's mother), and the man on
the right is my husband's grandfather, John R. Martin.

I love these old fashioned romances and adventure stories...my favorite authors here are
George Barr McCutcheon with the Graustark series of books and some others that were around the same era...written early 1900's.   Adventure mystery romance stories by Mary J. Holmes were written in the late 1800's and early 1900's. 
"Chronicles of Avonlea" (stories of Anne of Green Gables) was written in early 1900's also and by Lucy M. Montgomery.  I have collected quite a few of these different authors and love to read them over and over again.

Don't you just love the covers of these books?  Such gorgeous ladies...and men too! Thankfully the pictures are imprinted on the covers of the books themselves, not on a paper jacket. Otherwise, they would have been destroyed by now I am certain!  As you can see, some of these books are not in mint condition, as they are very old. I found these books in estate sales, old bookstores, auctions, and other various places throughout the country.

This is my husband's grandmother's Singer (Treadle)Sewing Machine, early 1900's model.
With four daughters to clothe Nanny Martin kept this Singer singing all the time! She also made
many quilts out of the scraps from the dresses she had made for the girls, and sold some to put my
mother-in-law through beauty school.  She also gave one to each of her grandchildren when they got married.
I still have ours, but it is in disrepair due to the age of the materials when the quilt was pieced together.  I
would love to find someone who could help me restore and preserve it.**click HERE for an update on this quilt!! So wonderful!!

The original instruction book is still there...along with her tape measure, oil can,
measuring tape, scissors, and many of the attachments. I also have a jar of old buttons from her collection and
several old wooden spools of thread!  These are treasures for certain!

Can't you just picture Nanny Martin sitting there sewing away?  She was a very busy and gifted woman. Also extremely humble...and sweet.
I was privileged to get to know her before she passed away at the age of 86. (Back in 1983).

Bavarian Demitasse Set from Nanny Martin. Brought to her from Germany (or Bavaria?) from a friend. Very old...

Bird Teapot from my sister Doris, Vintage Calumet Baking Powder Recipe Book from Nanny Martin's collection.

"One lump or two in your tea?" This is a Lipton Tea Tin. I love this
picture of these ladies.  Don't you wish you could listen in on their conversation?

A Child's Tea Party...These little girls are all special to me as they
were gifts from dear friends. They enjoy having a tea party
every day on my buffet! I wish I were small enough to join them, don't you?

I love this teapot and cup and saucer...kind of victorian country, like me.

Nanny and Granddaddy Martin pictures on the antique secretary that came from their home.  The books behind
the pictures are old volumes of the Classics... Charles Dickens, Sir Walter Scott, James Fennimore Cooper to name a few.

Nanny and Granddaddy Martin's antique secretary.
This sat in their dining room and was where Granddaddy
Martin always sat to pay their bills.
Wedding Ring Quilt from a dear lady from one
of our churches in Ohio. Hats from a dear friend from
New Hampshire.  Baby Dress belongs to my baby "Elva"

Tea Time with Victorian Lady ~ doll a gift from my husband.

Miss Ireland is ready for tea on the Japanese Cherry Blossom china brought to Nanny Martin
from Japan after World War II by her son-in-law, Captain Grady Lowe.

Baby Elva was a gift from my dear friend Cyndi, and represents my Grandma Mursch, "Elva Hill", who was adopted as an infant. Her story is on one of my previous blogs.

I hope you have enjoyed this walk down memory lane with me and that you enjoy seeing these "treasures".  Again, I know these are only "things" that cannot go to heaven with me, but I am very thankful for the years of pleasure that
I have received from having them in our home. They are pleasant reminders of dear ones who we have loved and look
forward to seeing again someday in heaven.

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