It Must Be Summer😁

Check out this video on YouTube:

My favorite Dead song. Enjoy!🙂

So I traded out the stacked vintage benches for this awesome piece that I’ve been storing in the garage for the past year. It makes a great garden plus it’s on wheels! It’s perfect for a natural green wall on the open air patio. I found this gem last year at #diamondantiques in #tarentumshops #pittsburghvintage #pittsburghsalvage #quarantineqreations #herbgardenonwheels #pittsburghpatio #pittsburghantiques

Fancy schmancy Bonne Maman mini honey and strawberry preserves just flew in from France and boy are their little jar arms tired. Perfect for a gift basket or for your own bad self. Fancy but not too fancy.


Gotta get away

These delicate little bonbons have been around since 1591 and are available at The Stillroom shop! Naturally flavored with violet or rose oil, these are meant to be savored until you get to the breath freshening anise seed at the center of the candy. These candies are $4.95 for a 1 3/4 oz tin and will last quite a while. You can’t bite these or you will break your teeth!

These imported bonbons from France can be found inside of

Diamond Antiques and Gifts

311 East 6th Avenue

Tarentum, Pa

at The Stillroom Tea Shop

Open Tuesday-Sunday 10-5


Persian lilac

This is a Persian lilac and it is the most fragrant of all the lilac bushes. This took quite some time to bloom and this is the first time in four years that it flowered. It started out super small and I had all but given up hope that it would actually catch on bc we were slow to plant it and then after planting it decided we had to move it to a better spot the next spring. Either way, the individual florets are super tiny and look very different from the purple ones we are used to and it is a late spring bloomer. We planted it closer to the patio so the scent can be enjoyed! The other thing is that with the white flowers, it could be part of a moon garden. That means the plants are more visible at night!

Phil and Vic

Quite some time ago when we lived in Saxonburg where I had my Stillroom Shop, every morning as I was opening up for the day, I would see this woman walk by.

The first thing that I noticed about her was that she was tiny in stature and older with fire red hair. Her skin seemed almost translucent and she never smiled. She walked kind of fast and with purpose and always carried a plastic bag in one hand.

I watched this same scene play out every day for quite some time. Even on days when it rained.

I would always think to myself, “who is this tiny woman and where does she walk to every morning?” with what looked like a lot of determination.

She must have been clocking in late for her walk one morning as I was hanging up the open flag on the post outside of the shop door. Hmm, perhaps I was early that day. Either way, we almost crashed into one another. There she was, walking her brisk pace with her plastic bag in hand. I said good morning and she wished me the same in the most sweetest Scottish Brogue I had ever heard in my life. More like never.

That was the day Philomena and I became fast friends. She told me all about her life growing up in Paisley, Scotland. She was born there in 1931. She told me how she met her American husband and came to the Pittsburgh area and raised five children. I can’t remember how they ended up in the tiny town of Saxonburg.

She would stop in the shop a couple of times a week and we would share a pot of tea and just talk and talk. The shop was never busy enough that we would be interrupted for more than a few minutes. Her accent was still heavy and I had to listen hard at times to understand her. That charming, heavy Scottish accent.

Through our many conversations over pots of chai tea, (her favorite) one of the things I discovered was that her husband, Jimmy, had been recovering from a heart attack. Maybe that was how they ended up in Saxonburg. They downsized their home because they were in an apartment at the time. Phil and Jimmy’s grown children had all moved out of state as grown children sometimes do. Their son, Andrew, was living in Minnesota by now. As his parents aged, he wanted Phil and Jimmy to move to be closer to him so he could look after them properly.

That is a good son right there.

Not so long after Phil and I met, they packed up their belongings and moved to Minnesota.

Just like that.

After Phil had been gone from Saxonburg for almost a year, I received a letter in the mail from her. A thoughtful, sweet letter. What a lovely gift that was. A good old fashioned hand written letter. She wrote about their house, and although the winter was pretty darn cold, they loved being close to their son.

Sadly, life took over for us both and in time, we lost contact. But, she popped into my mind the other day, as so many people do. After tracking down some information on the interwebs, it was discovered that Phil passed away in October of 2017 with all of her loved ones around her.

I have always heard when a person has passed on and suddenly they pop into your head, that means their spirit is somehow present. That would be so nice if it was true.

I thought I would just jot down a little story about how Philomena and Victoria became Phil and Vic.

Oh, and that bag she carried every day? She was on her way to feed the ducks some bread.

Insert smile here.

Evening on the patio with the herbs and the birds.