Saturday, October 8, 2016

Lighting Up a Dreary Day

One glance out the front door this morning confirmed what I already suspected.
The weather wasn't very welcoming for the day's planned activities.
Hurricane Matthew is showing up here in NC in the form of lots of rain.  Now at noon it's still dark and dreary.  Definitely not a good day to tour historic homes.  What a shame for all of the homeowners who readied their homes for this highly anticipated event.

It may not be a good day for being outside, but it's a great day for spreading little bits of warm light throughout the dark house.

This little votive holder was a recent thrift shop find.
You may remember the cross stitch leaves I talked about here.
It pairs nicely with the candle and together they bring a fall touch to the little hallway that leads to the powder room.

A few candles in the family room and kitchen.
I've been having the hardest time finding the right shade of blue pillows for my couch.  I've been looking everywhere.  The other day I stopped into Big Lots and decided I had nothing to lose by looking at their pillows.  I was delighted to find just the color I was looking for.  That cinnamon colored pillow was found there too.  It spreads a bit of the fall colors around without being too jarring like some oranges tend to do. 

The crackle glass on this votive holder is so pretty when lit in the evening or a dark rainy day.  A pumpkin spice votive tucked inside helps to spread the autumnal ambience.

The weather man is promising a sunny day tomorrow.
I hope he's right as that will be my last chance to get to the historic homes tour.
For today, I plan to spend a little time in the kitchen transforming all of those past their prime bananas into muffins or bread.
Then I may dig out all of the VHS movies we took when the kids were growing up.  After I blow the dust off of them I'm going to watch them all and look into having them converted to DVDs or whatever they do now.  I have heard that you can box them all up and send them somewhere to be transformed.  Have any of you done this and, if so, would you recommend it?

I'd better get moving now or nothing will be accomplished.
In some ways I think Peanut has the right idea for this gloomy fall day.
What are you up to today?
If you are in the path of Hurricane Matthew, I hope you are safe.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Jumbled Mess... In More Ways Than One

My perennial garden is currently sporting a predominantly yellow color scheme.

All of that yellow is coming from the swamp sunflowers which are currently enjoying the spotlight.  It's actually a bit of a jumbled mess out there as the sunflowers got so tall some of them have toppled over on top of the autumn blooming daisies.  I have read that you can cut them down by half mid-summer to prevent them from reaching such heights.  But, I never seem to think of it at the right time so come early fall I have this crazy wild garden going on.
I tend to see it as a happy mess.


This season I planted some morning glories in the bed.  They are now twining their way through the jumble.  As you might guess, I am totally smitten with the blue and yellow combo.

The bees seem pleased too.

Along the front of the bed the Lamb's Ear isn't affected in the least by the encroaching Swamp Sunflower.  In fact, I don't think the leaves on my plants have ever been this large. 
It won't be long until these perennials are done blooming.
For now, I plan to enjoy their crazy and colorful show.


Here I go again complaining.
What the heck is going on with Blogger??
Last night I gave up on waiting for my blog list to re-appear.  I made a new one.  I hope it's still there and if I've missed adding your blog, please let me know.  Trust me it wasn't on purpose.  I'm adding them as I think of them.
Thinking all was back to normal I sat down to do this post.  It was nothing but problems from the start. 
Tried to make a link... fail.
Added an image and then made it "ex-large" like I've been doing for years... lost my cursor. 
Clicked on the image again... lost my image.
Put my image on again... repeat the above.
Somehow found the cursor, but it couldn't be moved where I wanted it.  Hence, the pesky paragraph below.  I tried and tried to erase it, but since I couldn't place the cursor where I wanted to begin backspacing... there it sits.  Argh!!!!
It seems I might be able to post smoothly if I didn't add photos.  However, that is not the way I prefer to blog.
I suspect these problems are stemming from that notice having to do with HTTPS.  Although from my very limited knowledge of that, it doesn't seem like it should be causing these issues.
Don't they know that a lot of us aren't technical wizards?

So, you see my perennial garden isn't the only jumbled mess around here.

If you've made it this far, thanks for listening.

Warning:  pesky unremoveable paragraph below:

I have no idea what this post will look like once it's published.  Apologizing in advance.

This season I planted some Morning Glories in the bed.
They are now twining their way through the jumble.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

October's Arrival

The other day, while eating lunch, I noticed the branches of the oak tree shaking like crazy.  Just as I wondered what was up, a tiny trapeze artist (with a long bushy tail) flew out of the tree and landed in the nearby dogwood.  In a matter of minutes the entire episode repeated itself.
Clearly it was time for quick action on my part.

Abandoning my lunch, I scurried out to the oak tree with clipper (& camera) in hand.
At first glance it would seem as though I had missed my opportunity.  But then hiding behind the large holly shrub I spotted a couple of branches that he had missed.
I started picking the tiny acorns as fast as I could.
Just to be sure I lobbed off a branch and fled the scene.

It's been a few years since my oak trees have produced acorns.
I wasn't about to miss the chance to squirrel away a few of my own.

Those indoor squirrels need to be fed too.

October has arrived and with it we are welcoming cool temperatures and barely noticeable humidity. 
I can't even begin to tell you how thrilled I was to open the windows early this morning and breathe in fresh, cool air.  A lovely moment in a lovely day.
We took a trip to the local garden center to pick up some cool weather crops.  A variety of lettuce, kale and swiss chard.  We'll be getting our fill of greens this fall.  The garden center was filled with mums, pumpkins and gourds.  Always such a welcome sight at this time of year.
I hope your first day of October was a good one too.
I'd also like to thank all of you who weighed in on my missing blog list dilemma.  It does appear to be a Blogger issue that is affecting some of us.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will show up again soon.  I suppose I have a strange way of following your blogs.  I rely on the links in my sidebar, the links in some of your sidebars and a few others I have stored in Favorites.  I have never used any type of blog reader.  I'm sure this isn't the most efficient way to go about blog reading, but it's the way I've always done it.  Therefore, I am feeling a bit lost without my list.

How do you go about your blog reading?
Perhaps the time has come for me to do so in a more efficient manner.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Yoo Hoo... Has Anybody Seen My Blog List?

So, I popped onto my blog this afternoon and looked high and low for the blog list that normally resides on my sidebar.  It seemed to have gone into hiding.  This evening I went looking for it once again.  This time I even checked the design layout.  It seems to be gone from there too.
If you happen to be visiting here, would you mind letting me know if you are seeing it?  A simple yes or no in comments will do.
Is anybody else having this problem?

♫ Oh where oh where did my blog list go, Oh where oh where can it be ? ♫

Monday, September 26, 2016

In The Autumn Kitchen

If the weather forecasters ever decide to bring on the fall temperatures, I'll be ready.
Yesterday, while the A/C was blasting away inside, I decided to set up a little hot drink station.  I've been admiring them for years and don't know why it's taken so long to get on board.

Rumor has it that our temperatures may dip into the 70s later this week.  That is music to my ears.
In anticipation, the soup pot sits ready to be filled with warming comfort foods.

While over on the table a seasonal vignette sets the tone for enjoying those comforting meals and warm drinks.

Autumn is in the air and the kitchen too.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A, B and C

A is for the Asters adding beauty to my garden on this first day of fall.

The bees seem to be enjoying them too.
Planted last summer, I had forgotten what they were.  Since most of the perennials are nearing the end of their blooming cycle, it was a pleasant surprise to see them covered in buds last week.  In all my years of gardening this is my first experience with growing them. 

B is for birthday.
Brett's birthday.
Brett's big birthday, to be exact. ;D.
Big birthdays are a lot more fun when shared with a 3 year old.

C is for Charlotte.
Charlotte, North Carolina.
The city where we celebrated the big birthday.
Dinner in a lovely uptown restaurant.
After dinner the pleasant weather beckoned.
An after dinner walk to the nearby Romare Bearden Park seemed like the best plan.  A time to walk off a bit of dinner before it was cake time.

Romare Bearden Park photo courtesy the internet.

We took turns racing across one of the grassy areas of the park with Jaxson.
He may have the shortest legs, but they are also the fastest legs.
About the time I thought hoped the game was done he was ready to go again and again and again.  I think it's safe to say the dinner calories were burned.
Once all of the adults were exhausted we sat on one of the park benches.  Darkness had set in yet few people seemed in a hurry to get home.
I watched a tiny little girl dressed in pink toddling around as her family took pictures.  She held a bouquet of pink balloons.  I imagined how sweet the pictures would be.
Our former racing area was now being used by a group of boys for a lively game of Frisbee.
Looking to my right it was apparent that the water feature held a strong appeal for those enjoying a date night.  Young love was in bloom.
Looking up I marveled at the skyscrapers in their nighttime beauty.
In this little park at the base of the skyscrapers, a diverse group of people were drawn together enjoying the evening.  People of all ages feeling safe on this late summer evening in the city. 
As we walked back to my son's home to have our cake, a sense of happiness settled over me.  For a few hours the craziness of our world seemed to have softened.  I would have never guessed that only a few short nights later I would be glued to the tv until midnight watching this wonderful city become a place filled with violence and hatred.

Peaceful protesting is one thing.
This has become something else entirely.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Little Plant That Could... and Did!

Last year this section of the garden was totally re-done.
You may remember that happening here.
At that time, the entire garden bed was dug up, yanked out and hauled away.
Although it was clear the time had come, I was sorry to see some of the plants go.

Imagine my delight when one of those plants appeared in the new garden bed recently.
Despite all of the upheaval, this Cypress Vine must have dropped a seed that refused to be discarded along with the old tree and shrubs. 
Even more amazing to me was the fact that it decided to root itself right next to the one and only shepherd's hook I placed in this bed.
What are the chances of that?

Over the past few weeks I have been watching it wind it's way up the pole.  It is such a pretty plant with it's wispy delicate leaves.

Are you familiar with the Cypress Vine?
They are also known as the hummingbird vine because these guys love them:

The hummingbirds have been entertaining us at the feeders as they prepare for their fall migration.
As I've been watching the Cypress Vine grow, I've been keeping my fingers crossed that it would bloom before the hummingbirds had flown the coop.

Looks like Mother Nature had that base covered all along.