Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Kitchen Update ~ Before and After

 ~ Hello Hydrangea ~

Why does it seem that when a goodbye is on the horizon one's perception changes?
Things that once were taken for granted suddenly seem so endearing or important.
Now that our upcoming move is becoming a reality, I'm seeing some things in a different light.
Today it's the hydrangeas.
I don't think they've ever bloomed so profusely in the 19 years I have been tending them in this garden.  Although, it may also be that I haven't been appreciating them as much as I should have.
Either way, as this will be my last spring season in this garden, I plan to enjoy them in a big way with many bouquets.

This post isn't really about the hydrangeas.
I'm popping in with a moving update and a kitchen update.
We have now officially purchased a lot in our new neighborhood.
Next week we will be making decisions on all that goes into a new house and soon it will be time to put this one on the market.
The updates are just about complete.
Not too long ago I shared the kitchen demo in this post.
Just before the counters were demolished, I snapped the above picture showing the bar counter above the kitchen sink in all of it's blue tile glory.

 Here you see the new counter.
It was recommended that we do away with the bar height counter.
We chose white quartz countertops with a bit of grey veining throughout.  

 We are pleased with the way the light reflects off of the countertops and the view has opened up to the outside.
I also don't miss the grout lines one little bit.
These countertops are so easy to wipe up and keep clean.
I loved my blue and white kitchen for many years.

 Now I am loving an updated, less cluttered kitchen.
The white appliances have been replaced with stainless steel.
Surprisingly all of the appliances were still in good working order and have found new homes.
The cabinet and drawer pulls have been changed to brushed nickel.
The yellow wallpaper was removed and the walls have been painted Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray.

 The blue tile backsplash was replaced with subway tile.

 When we replaced the refrigerator, we decided on a model with the freezer on the bottom.  This was quite a change from the side by side we have had for years and years.  I must say that I LOVE this refrigerator.  

Though most of my kitchen "knick knacks" have been packed away, given away or sold, I'm having fun playing with a few select pieces that I think look nice with the updated look.
This particular pattern lends a touch of the old with the new and I think that's just the look I'm after in the next house.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

A Dream(y) Getaway

Hello there.
Just dreaming a bit today about the ideal getaway.

When given the opportunity, my preference will almost always lean towards the country vs. the city.
Point me towards rolling green hills dotted with cows and farmhouses and I'm a happy camper.

Breakfast outdoors on a cool spring morning sounds delightful.

If that outdoor breakfast includes a bit of birdsong and a view like this, well just plant me there and keep the coffee cup filled :).

Although, with a bit of coaxing, I could be uprooted for a hike in the great outdoors.  If that hike involved a waterfall, I'd have my hiking shoes on in an instant.

After an afternoon hike, it would be most delightful to head into the nearest small town and discover a new restaurant to try out.
These smiling faces across the table would bring me great joy.

So, imagine my surprise when I was recently told to pack for two nights.
Casual clothes and comfortable shoes were all I was told to bring.
It seemed Brett and I were headed for a wee getaway.

Little did I know that he and the boys had been hatching a plan.
One that included a three hour drive into the NC mountains where the countryside rolled, the cows mooed and the rivers rushed.
After winding our way down a hill the car came to a halt at this charming log cabin.  

Part of the plan was to fly my grandson and his Dad in to be part of the getaway.  He was happy to try out the chair right outside the front door.  A perfect fit I might add.

Just inside the door sat this sign.
This cabin was recently built and so nicely decorated.
In fact, if I were still dreaming, this would be the cabin of my dreams.
Apparently my family knows me well.

 Right down to my preference in cake flavors ;D.
They thought of everything.
Party hat, cake, balloon, gifts.
I honestly couldn't dream up a nicer getaway.
A very nice way to usher in a new decade.

The lower level of the cabin offered an ideal spot for family fun time.
I don't think I've shot a game of pool since I was in high school.
How nice to try again while introducing Jaxson to the game.
He delighted in chalking up the cues and helping Grandpa make the shot.

Another sign in the cabin.
this sounds like a good motto going forward.

*all photos from the real getaway.  Elevating dreams to dreamy! 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

If Every Picture Tells a Story . . .

Welcome to my home.
Please don't trip over the appliances in the foyer.
I'd love to be able to serve you a meal at the dining room table.
However, it is currently loaded with the contents of the kitchen cupboards.

I'd offer you a seat in the family room, but fear you could injure yourself trying to get to that seat.
Doesn't everybody store their kitchen drawers on the floor ; )?

 It would be nice if I could at least offer you a glass of water or a cup of coffee or tea.  That is a bit impossible at the moment as the kitchen sink and faucet have left the building.  Oh my!

Perhaps the story this picture tells is the reason for my extended absence from the blog.
My blogging desk has also left the building.  
This morning I was able to unearth the laptop to pop in for a little update.
The process of updating the house to get it ready for selling is well underway.
Each day brings a new area being tackled.
Things are beginning to take shape and I sometimes wonder whose house I'm in when I get up in the morning.
I'm hoping to be able to share a few before and afters in a future post.
In the meantime, I hope you are all doing well.
When things slow down a bit I plan to get back to regular blog visiting.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Flower Bulbs and Treasured Books

Nothing like a stretch of warm days to coax those bulbs to send forth their beautiful flowers.

With our thoughts turned to getting this house ready to sell, this very well could be the last spring we spend here.  With that in mind I am planning to enjoy each season in this garden.  Yesterday I gathered a daffodil bouquet for the table, a hyacinth bouquet above the sink and one little sprig of quince to force near the kitchen sink.
In all my years of gardening I have never forced spring blooms in the house.  I think it's time to give it a go.

This moving process is an interesting journey.
When the stager came she suggested removing almost everything from the living room.  Coffee table, side tables, all knick knacks, everything on the walls except a large mirror, throw pillows, fireplace screen and everything on the mantle GONE.  I was, however, relieved to know that the books were allowed to stay in the bookcases :).

Although I did spend a recent afternoon editing my book collection, there are still many that I don't want to part with.  That 10,000 Garden Questions above was a recent thrift shop find.  While it's not likely I will consult it with my gardening questions, the illustrations on the spine make my heart sing.

Two books to the left of that one sits Familiar Wild Flowers.
A very old book filled with illustrations like this.  So beautiful.  Sometimes I just like to curl up in a comfy chair and look through them.
The afternoon I spent editing our book collection yielded 4 boxes and 3 bags for donation.  Yikes, I just might be a book hoarder!
When we moved into this house built in bookcases were a top priority.  I hope to find room for some bookcases in the next house, but I doubt there will be as many as we have here.  Hence, the need to edit.

While touring a model home recently we came upon this headboard idea.  That looks like a super cozy spot for reading.  Come to think of it, it might also be a good idea for recycling some of those extra books.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Searching for Signs of Spring in the Garden

When the temperature rises to 75 degrees on a February day, there is only one place I want to be and that is in the garden.
These early gardening sessions are a good time to clean up limbs that have fallen, get a jump on the weeds while the ground is nice and moist and cut the old growth from the perennials.  It is also a wonderful opportunity to peek around for signs of spring.  Something many of us are craving right about now.
From inside the house I had noticed that some of the spring bulbs had started poking out of the ground.  It wasn't until I got out there that I see the hyacinths are forming their flower.  Oh joy!  I can hardly wait to take a whiff of that heavenly scent.

The hydrangeas had a surprise for me in the form of little green buds up and down their dormant looking branches.

What's this strange looking thing, you might ask.
Any guesses?
It is the big fat bud of a Lenten Rose.  This is something that would never be seen from indoors so I'm glad I went looking for it.  Many years I miss the blooming time entirely.  In this instance I was perched on a rock next to the pond (trying not to fall in) while holding the flower bud up with one hand and pressing the camera button with the other.  Amazing it came out at all.  Ha!
Now to remember to keep checking on it until the flower unfurls.

The anticipation builds upon spotting the daffodils almost ready to reveal their beauty once again.  It won't be long now.

Just when I thought it was a tad early for flowers, I spot these two peeking out from under an azalea bush.  Two tiny phlox.  I pause for a moment to appreciate their unique beauty.  Each little petal formed so perfectly with the lavender portion looking as though it had just been painted with a wee little brush.

"If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere."
- Vincent VanGogh

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day

~ Valentine's Greetings ~

I hope you are enjoying the day with someone you love or doing something that you love or, perhaps, enjoying a treat that you love.
Maybe all three.
Wouldn't that be lovely?

I loved each of these vintage Valentine's planters for many a Valentine's Day.  But now they have found their way to new homes across the USA through the magic of Ebay.

 It makes me happy to know that they have found new homes where they will be loved.  The first one up there was sold within an hour of being listed.  The buyer didn't even try to make an offer for a lower price.  Well, alrighty then.  
Glad to know that there is a market for my old treasures.
It kind of helps make parting with them a bit easier.


Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

As January Comes to an End

~ January 17, 2018~

Since snowfalls here are somewhat rare, I like to document them on my blog.  So, before January is over and done, here's a look at our winter wonderland.  It is long gone now, but it amounted to about six inches of the white stuff.  Very pretty while it lasted.

In other news we have started to tackle the realtor's list.
All wallpaper has left the building  house.
It had been a long time since we removed wallpaper.
Thanks to YouTube our memories were refreshed and Brett did a great job taking it down.  My offer to help was declined ; ).

Here you see the dining room paper lying in a heap.
We were pleased that it came down so easily.
The kitchen, dining room and powder room are back to the white walls we had when we moved in.
Yesterday we took the big step of signing up with a realtor.
I'm a bit hesitant to share that as it may be awhile until the house actually goes on the market.
We are currently waiting for a lot to become available in our future neighborhood.
Because the realtor has suggested a fair amount of updates, she felt it would be good to get things underway so that the house would be ready when we were ready to put it on the market.  We agreed.

The last time we moved it was 1999.
We were lucky that time because before the for sale sign went up our next door neighbor's mother bought the house.  That was the only other house we've had in our married life.
Things sure have changed in real estate since then.
On Monday the "stager" will come to make suggestions for paint colors, etc.  
As I've been decluttering and editing our belongings, it is starting to feel a bit stark around here.  I'm hesitant to add anything new until I hear what the stager has in mind.  I did, however, break down and buy the plant above.  It's called a "bird's nest fern".  I was told that new leaves come from the center and as they are forming they look like little eggs down in the nest.

If you look closely you might be able to see the little white dot down there.  I've got my fingers crossed that it will be a new leaf in the coming weeks.

Thinking that the laundry room needed a bit of life, I got this "rabbit's foot fern".  Have you ever seen them?  I grew one many years ago.  That little thing hanging down in front looks and feels a bit like a rabbit foot and little fern fronds sprout from it.
Houseplants tend to make the wait for gardening season a bit more tolerable.