Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

  I've been a bit scarce in blogland recently.
Not sure why.  Seems the spirit hasn't moved me to pick up the camera.  Another blog slump, I suppose.
At any rate, I think of you even when I'm not posting.
If you will be celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Autumn Garden

 The frost isn't on the pumpkin. . . yet!
Apparently we will wake up to a far reaching arctic blast. 
In watching the news reports, I know that it won't be nearly as harsh for us as it is for many to the north and west of us.
What I do know is that the countdown is on until the frost is on the pumpkin and the flowers too.
So, today, on this mild autumn day, I invite you to stroll with me through the autumn garden.

 Although there are many leaves carpeting the lawn,

 the trees are still sporting their autumn wardrobe.
I think the colors coordinate so well with the crystal clear blue sky.

Yellow with a hint of blue.  Yes please!!

Orange tipped leaves?  
Oui Oui!!

The new landscaping around the pond provides interesting texture in the form of ferns and grasses.  I love that pink muhly grass.  It looks a bit like a pink cloud.  The little Japanese Maples are also a nice contrast to the greens that are so prominent in the garden.

New camellia bushes are loaded with big plump buds.
This one is looking rather promising as it begins to open.

Encore Azaleas are providing a nice pop of color.
Until this year our azaleas had been limited to the spring blooming varieties.  I've been pleased with the performance of this encore variety.  Now we get to enjoy them for three seasons instead of just one.

It probably comes as no surprise that I would pair up yellow pansies with a blue flowerpot. :-).

Well, I could continue on and on with garden wandering, but I don't want to bore you.  Instead, I offer you the last rose of the season.  In this month of giving thanks, I wish to thank you ever so much for your visits and your friendship and your kindness.
It means so much to me.

No matter what you may be facing in life right now,
I wish you peace and contentment.


Friday, November 7, 2014

It's All A Blur

 Last time I posted it seemed the fall season was just getting underway.  Though I had good intentions of popping in here with some updates, it just never happened.

 Yesterday, after a rainy morning, the sun came out and seemed to highlight the beauty of the yellow leaves outside the kitchen window.
I decided I'd better get out there with the camera before the trees were bare. 

 Halloween is a big event in our neighborhood.
In fact it's so big that the last few years we hightailed it out of here and went out to dinner.
This year, we decided to invite a few people over and participate in the fun.  I had good intentions of snapping a few pictures of the food and table.  However, this was the only picture I took before the doorbell rang and it was time to move onto more important matters.

 Little Elmo wasn't too sure about that headpiece and his 3-1/2 teeth aren't quite enough for candy eating...

But, he was a good sport and went along with his daddy and uncle to do a little trick or treating.  His mommy works at a children's hospital and was helping to brighten the holiday for her young patients.

 In our neighborhood of more than 800 homes, the kids all trick or treat along the trail that runs behind our house.  This means that we have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and... well you get the idea, of kids that come through.  It makes for a fast and furious time of handing out candy.  I noticed that many of the parents were also in costume.  The man above wore a fantastic vampire costume.  I assume he was a dad, but who knows... maybe he really was Count Dracula.  At any rate, he really got into singing along to our vintage Monster Mash CD and soon had a large audience.  I tried to get a picture of the front of him, but I had a hard time getting through all of the kids.  Ha!
Right about when we ran out of candy, the rain started falling so we headed into the warm house and enjoyed our meal of chili, cornbread and hot spiced cider.

While looking through the Halloween pictures, at first I thought that this one was blurry.  On second glance I decided it was more like  a certain little boy is a blur of activity... somewhat like these last few weeks have been around here :).

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Few Fall Favorites

 One of my favorite things about Fall is attending the historic homes tour in a nearby town.  Through the years we have had the chance to step inside many different homes that have been lovingly restored to their original beauty along with enjoying the history behind the house.  This year we even toured the former home of Elizabeth Dole's grandparents.
Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos inside the homes, but I did take a few as we walked from house to house.
I thought this fall display was a warm welcome.
This house wasn't on the tour this year, although we did tour it in years past.
 Let me just zoom out so that you can see it better.

Pretty, isn't it.
That big wraparound porch looks like the ideal spot to enjoy the sights and sounds of an autumn afternoon.

As we waited in line to enter one of the houses, this caught my eye.
A pretty and interesting combination of colors and textures.

One of the houses sat on a corner lot.
The homeowner built this little house to resemble his own.

A cute little neighborhood lending library.
Have you ever seen this before?
I hadn't, but it sure seems like a neat idea.

 It just wouldn't seem like fall without a trip to the pumpkin patch.
This year it was even nicer to enjoy it with my favorite little pumpkin.

Of course these cooler days make the warmth of the kitchen even more appealing.  
I don't very often think to roast a whole chicken.
I'm glad I had that thought last night as it smelled so good as it baked and the meat just fell off the bones... just the way I like it.
Comfort food at it's best.

Susan Branch recently shared a recipe on her well-loved blog for a broccoli kale slaw.  The orange dressing and cranberries made it an ideal accompaniment to our roast chicken fall comfort food dinner.
Delicious and nutritious (as my mother often said :).

Just a few of my fall favorites here tonight.
There is one more that I can't really show you, although I'm sure you can conjure it up for yourselves... I just got up to let Peanut out and there it was... woodsmoke in the cool crisp air.  

Care to share any of your fall favorites?


Friday, October 17, 2014

A Patriotic Garden Palette

As I pulled into the driveway this afternoon I couldn't help but notice a patriotic little combo residing in my garden.

 Red Pentas

 The penta flowers are one of the greatest annuals for our southern climate.  They need zero care.  I've done nothing to them since I planted them last spring and they have filled in and grown super tall.  They were a source of constant color with no deadheading required.  As an extra bonus they attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
Three cheers for pentas !!!

White Camellias

The beautiful camellia sasanquas are a fall blooming plant.
Soon enough the garden flowers will be lost to frost.  Boo Hoo!
That thought makes the camellias even more welcome and appreciated.

  Heavenly Blue Morning Glory

It seems a year doesn't go by where I don't have to sneak one of these into a post.  What can I say.... love that gorgeous shade of blue.  In fact, it reminds me of...

Wasn't it nice of that jet to fly by as I pointed my camera at the blue sky?
We're in for a picture perfect weekend here.
Hoping for a lot of outside time and time to do some blog hopping.
I've fallen way behind in that department and I need to see what you've all been up to.

In the meantime, I wish you blue skies and happiness this weekend.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Look Who's Coming to Lunch

 We are officially working from home now and I have decided that it does have some definite perks... like enjoying lunch on the patio.
On this lovely autumn afternoon, we did just that and just as I was about to bite into my BLT, Brett said "look who's coming to join us."

 While we do enjoy a nice variety of birds in our backyard, I can't say we've ever watched one quite this tall before.

 He seemed completely unfazed by us and continued to mosey on over as if we'd invited him to lunch.

 As we watched him gazing into the pond, we had an instant light bulb moment.  The mystery of the disappearing goldfish had just been solved.
A while ago Brett added twelve goldfish to the pond.
We had read that it was best to not feed them as this would make them an easier target for prey if they spent a lot of time near the top of the water waiting for food.  So, we have not fed them.  Each day when we would go out to check on them we would do a head count.  At last count there were only 8.  We didn't think they were being preyed upon as we never saw any evidence.
We wondered if, perhaps, they were just hiding.
Looks like we will have to wonder no more.
Once we realized that this large bird really was coming for lunch, we started yelling and clapping to scare him away.

He wasn't too scared by our noise, but did spread his wings and make a half-hearted attempt to fly away.
Once we went back to eating he started moseying back over.
It was clearly time for the next line of defense.

 She may be small, but her yapping goes a long way.
We opened the door and let her have a shot at scaring Wilt the Stilt away.

She scared him right up to the highest peak of the house where he, no doubt, remained until we finished lunch and went back to work.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Few Fall Touches

 In the midst of my fall decorating, it seemed necessary to capture a picture of those shadows on my coffee table.  Very briefly the sun peeked out and cast her lovely rays across the room. Our sunshine has been in scarce supply since the autumn season began.

My favorite method for changing the decor up for the seasons...
Soft Hits station playing on the satellite TV.  Gotta love those oldies that I can sing along to.  Rest assured the windows and doors are closed so nobody other than Peanut is privvy to the concert.
You can see how Peanut is tolerating it as she is passed out on the chair.  Poor dog!

The decor doesn't change much from year to year, but it always seems to includes books, birds...

squirrels and vintage pottery.
 I've been editing my decor keeping just enough to celebrate the seasonal shifts.  The thoughts of carting bins in and out of the attic is becoming less and less enticing as the years go by.

On occasion the books come decorated for fall as is the case with this old copy of Heidi.
Now that I like ~ dual purpose decorating.