Monday, July 5, 2021

A Lovely Weekend From Start To Finish

Hello again dear readers (if there are any still out there :).
I'm coming out of my most recent blogging slump to share a bit about our Independence Day holiday weekend.
Although the holiday fell on Sunday, the festivities began Friday.

Friday morning began on a dark, dreary, rainy note.
While sipping my 2nd cup of coffee and trying to wake up, I received a phone call asking whether I was up for a bit of thrifting and lunch out.  My first thought was that I could be quite content staying home on such a day.  On the other hand getting out might be just the thing to put some purpose in the day so off I went.
We are a bit guilty of going to the same restaurants for lunch depending on the location.  This day we decided to try something new.  A French inspired cafe.  The cozy atmosphere complete with patriotic decor was especially welcome on this dull day.

The chicken salad croissant was tres magnifique!
The cafe is owned by a couple and the husband is the chef.  His croissants are so light and flaky.  His carrot cake was highly recommended by the waitress.  She said he takes two days to make it.  Although we were stuffed, it seemed like splitting a piece of that famous cake might be a nice way to begin the holiday weekend.

Later in the day the rain had cleared and it was time to hang the buntings and flags in preparation for the big day.
Those rocking chairs were soon to be prime parade viewing spots.

In our neighborhood the parade comes in the form of golf carts.
Since we don't own one, we are happy to wave to them as they all drive by.

Once the parade was over and we had chatted with the neighbors for awhile it was time to get to work.  I had volunteered to bring dessert to the party which was happening right next door at 6:00.

It sure is nice to be able to enjoy a parade from the front porch and a neighborly get together a few steps away.  No traffic to contend with.
After the party (and all of those desserts) we decided to take a walk.

Stepping out the front door we were greeted by a red, white and blue sky.  A fitting way to end this very American holiday.  The weather was so unusually delightful (no humidity and coolish temps).  We just walked and walked until it was completely dark.  With any luck some of the calories were burned up. ; ).

With Sunday being the true holiday, our son came over for burgers on the grill.  What a thrill to be able to pick this season's first tomato and slice it up for topping the burgers.  Corn on the cob, roasted potatoes and leftover dessert made for an easy dinner.

 Perhaps one of the contributing factors to the shaping of this wonderful weekend was that we could join together once again in celebration of our United States of America.  After being isolated by the pandemic and so much political division, it felt like a sigh of relief to join together in celebration of our country once again.


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Thrift Shop Treasures & A Bit of Decorating

This beautiful mosaic vase caught my eye while out thrifting last week.  As I stood there trying to decide whether I might "need" it, I saw the original price sticker from Pier 1... $49.99.  It was at that moment that I grabbed a shopping cart.  Surely there was somewhere I could use it.  Incidentally, the lantern next to it in the photo came from the same thrift store several years ago.

I guess it was a good thing I grabbed the cart because soon these wooden candle sticks were added.  I know these can be pricey.  To find a set of three was definitely a good find in my humble opinion.
Once home, I went from room to room assessing where I might best use these newfound treasures.

I liked the way the colors worked with the comforter and picture in the guest room.  So, I shopped the house for a few more things and gave the dresser a little refresh.  

While shopping the house I also rounded up a few items for this new shelf.  It didn't come from the thrift shop (I wish), but it fills a wall that I've been trying to fill ever since I moved here.  The wall is between the kitchen and a little hallway leading to the powder room.  I've been looking for something other than another picture.  When I saw this shelf, I thought it might be just the thing.  I added a battery operated candle to give it a bit of ambience for those headed to the powder room in the evening hours ;).  I think it will be fun to change up for the seasons and holidays too.

Destination:  Powder Room
I guess this explains why I wanted something other than a picture on this wall.

These little projects have come at a good time.  It's been unusually cold here for this time of year.  In fact, the furnace is still running.  Usually by now we've had the A/C on for a month or so.  Yesterday it never made it out of the low 50s and rained all day.  A good day to stay in my slipper socks and sweater.  

Also a good day to finish my puzzle.

What have you been up to lately?

Friday, April 30, 2021

Closet Updates

Despite the birdy distractions, my closet cleaning project did get finished.  I find when tackling this job it works best if I am in the mood to go through everything from shoes to clothing to jewelry.  It's also important to have a good chunk of time to devote to it.
This time I was very honest with myself and anything that isn't being worn for whatever reason has now found a new home.  A few bags were donated to the thrift shop and three more bags were taken to a local shop that uses their profits to build a safe home for mothers and their children who are escaping domestic abuse.  The lady who works there told me that domestic violence has risen 75% during the pandemic.  I feel fortunate to have never lived in that situation.  It would make me feel hopeful if my donations could contribute to their overall goal.

Because I enjoy seeing what other women my age wear, I somewhat reluctantly, share a few outfits that made the cut.  I have had this white denim jacket for years and years.  Mostly it has been in the closet gathering dust.  After watching some YouTube videos on fashion over 50, I was inspired to try tucking in my shirt and wearing a belt.  The few belts I owned left a lot to be desired so I did buy a new one.  Apparently this belt is capable of stretching 2".  Hmm... not sure if that is a good thing or not :).
Anyhow, with this tucked in look I think my old jacket is a good length so it remains in the closet.

This is a new outfit also inspired from my 50+ video watching.
This reminds me of getting new spring play clothes when I was a kid.  Super comfy and fun.
Had I not been watching these videos I never in a million years would have bought these jeans.  I am guilty of wearing the same style of jeans for years.  The last time I changed was probably 5-6 years ago when the sales lady at Old Navy steered me toward skinny jeans.  They have served me well except when it starts to get warmer outside I find them a bit constricting.  The jeans above are the straight leg style.  Much looser and airier than my skinny jeans.
I had also been on the hunt for leather sneakers that were comfortable.  I had been holding onto a very uncomfortable pair of Keds for years.  This year I refuse to hobble around in discomfort.  It took awhile, but I finally found what I was looking for on sale at Kohl's.  They had one pair left and it was in my size so I guess it was meant to be.

Another mix of old and new.
The jean jacket is so old I don't even remember buying it.
It seems you can't go wrong with having a classic jean jacket.
I was all set to order a new one online when I compared mine to the classic Levi's model.  They were the exact same except mine was lacking a Levi's tag on the pocket.  So instead I laundered mine and moved it from the far reaches of my coat closet to front and center in my bedroom closet.  Sometimes it pays to look at old things with new eyes.  I suppose that is what I'm trying to do with my old body. :D.
Finally, the white jeans with the button fly.
Another style I would have never thought to wear at my age and with my less than flat abs.  After being assured that you can, in fact, still wear them under those circumstances I decided to try them out.
They are super comfy and I like the white paired with the blue denim jacket.  
I didn't bother with shoes in this photo, but I did wear this with my new white sneakers.  It is also recommended to pair white pants with nude colored sandals.  I'm still on the hunt for comfy nude sandals.

Overall my closet is still rather bare.  
Another thing I have learned is that when you purchase a new wardrobe addition, make sure you can wear it with at least three things already in your wardrobe.  I think I was guilty of buying outfits that I liked which was rather limiting.  Now I am striving for things that mix and match and also things that fit my current lifestyle.  Basically casual and comfortable.

Well, that's it from my closet.
Anything new to report from yours?

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend wherever you are.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Easily Distracted

Cleaning my closet was near the top of my to do list today.
I was taking the empty everything onto the bed and then go through them one by one approach.
Shortly after piling the last load onto the bed, I caught a flash of yellow out the bedroom window.
It seemed an American Goldfinch was coming to check out the water feature.

When I spotted another coming in for a landing, I was off to locate my phone to see if I could sneak a few photos.

After a few sips, they each enjoyed a nice long bath.
They provided a lovely bright spot on our cloudy afternoon.
As enjoyable as it was to watch them, I needed to get back to the task at hand or it would never get done.  So back to the closet project for me.

I just got started when a speck of bright blue caught my eye.
Since I had never seen the Eastern Bluebirds come to the fountain, I had to grab the camera quick.  I was happy to capture the male looking my way.  Most likely he was looking at his mate perched on the windowsill.

Here the happy couple are gazing into one another's eyes.  
Wonder what they're thinking?

I was tempted to ask them why they didn't set up housekeeping in the bluebird box we placed out for them.  We even added their favorite dried mealworms to entice them.  
Instead a sweet little Black Capped Chickadee family has moved in.
It's been fun to peek into the nest to check up on their progress.
I better hold off on checking on them today.
At least until that mountain on my bed has been dealt with.
At the rate I'm going I may need to close the blinds to keep focused.

Any bird activity happening around you?


Friday, April 16, 2021

Friday Flower Fun

Friday is here and it's shaping up to be a lovely weekend here in NC.
I'm heading out the door shortly for a chiropractor appt. and then to an early birthday lunch.  I imagine a visit to the local thrift shops will figure into the plan too.  The rest of the weekend is open for time in the garden.  Speaking of garden, the tulips above have just finished blooming.  They were absolutely gorgeous, especially the one in the center.  I hated to see them go.

But, while they were here I made the most of them.
Sometimes I am lazy about cutting bouquets or think I need a greater quantity of flowers to make it worthwhile.  I am learning that even a small bouquet in the right location is all that is needed to bring instant cheer.  I am enjoying this beehive vase that I recently purchased at Hobby Lobby.  It is just the right size for my petite bouquets.  I start the day right here filling up my coffee cup.  
Fresh coffee + fresh flowers = a great start to the day.


Though the spring bulbs are done for the year, the azaleas are dotting the landscape in a most beautiful way.  It's worth a "Sunday drive" just to see them blooming right along with the dogwoods.  
Here, in my garden, there are two different colors in bloom.  Hopefully there will soon be two more.
This color is pairing nicely with a thrift shop mug and spoon.

I hope you are looking forward to something fun this weekend.
Here's a little azalea bouquet to get you started.


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Early Spring in the Garden

It was a pleasant surprise to glance out the window and see this yellow butterfly floating through the early spring garden.  I don't remember seeing them this early before, but maybe I haven't been paying close enough attention.  I was particularly delighted by the interest it was taking in my daffodils.

In the weather department we've been getting a lot of rain and cooler than normal temperatures.  All together it's been great for the spring show in the garden.  While the daffodils have been performing for a couple weeks now, the tulips and grape hyacinths joined the show in the last few days.  The pansies that I planted last fall are happy with the cooler weather too.  Once the heat sets in they will be ready to call it quits.

This area is a little courtyard visible from the kitchen, family room and living room.  It's been a work in progress.  I think it is finally coming together.  The vine on the trellis is a star jasmine.  Later in the spring it will be covered in fragrant flowers and eventually it will cover the trellis.  To the sides I have planted arborvitae shrubs in pots.  At the base  there is some ivy and flowers that I plan to change out for the seasons.
On the other side of the trellis you see my neighbor's house.  I've mentioned before that our homes are close together here.  This trellis set-up has been my solution for privacy and seeing nature out the windows that overlook the courtyard.  

The color combination of these tulips with the grape hyacinth is pleasing me greatly this year.  I just wish they could last a little  lot longer.  Right now I'm torn between enjoying them as they are and cutting a bouquet to bring inside before the next rain (due any minute).

In the form of edible gardening I'm growing some swiss chard in and amongst the spring bulbs.  I need to do a better job with actually eating it.  Even so, it is such a pretty addition to the garden with it's big glossy leaves and colorful stems.

Any idea what this is?


If you said a potato plant, you win!!
After watching one of my favorite gardening You Tubers tell how simple it is to grow taters in containers, I had to give it a try.

In late February I planted one pot each of the above varieties.
So far they are doing what they should be doing.
Apparently there will be a day in summer when the green growth turns brown and that is my signal to get harvesting.  I'm excited and have high hopes.  Hope I'm not disappointed.  Have you ever grown them?

Have a wonderful week!!

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Spring's Arrival

~ Spring Has Sprung ~

Winter seems reluctant to let go this year.
Since it will be awhile before my garden tulips will be in bloom, I added a few of the silk variety to my foyer table.  Coupled with some Easter eggs and a nest full of bird eggs, the springtime welcome mat has been rolled out.

The garden is beginning to reward us with daffodils.
After some wild weather yesterday, I went out this morning and clipped a few that had taken a bit of a beating.  That little pop of yellow added an instant lift to coffee central.

While I don't have near the amount of yellow in this house as I did in the last, I find it to be such a cheerful, happy color.  It seems especially uplifting after a long winter.
The daffodils inspired me to change up the kitchen towels.  Those yellow bumble bees make me excited for the coming season.  Very soon we will be back digging in the dirt and enjoying time on the patio.  

A new yellow pillow on my reading chair.

This post brought to you by the color YELLOW.
On Thursday I went for my first vaccine.
As we pulled out of the driveway the skies opened up and the wind kicked into high gear.  Thunder boomed and lightening bolts lit up the sky.  By the time we reached our destination the rain had stopped.  While waiting to be called in everybody's cell phone went into emergency alert mode at once.  We were being advised to take cover immediately.  With no windows in the waiting room I had to wonder what exactly was taking place out there.  I wondered if Brett who was reading in the car was being taken away by a tornado.  Thankfully that was not the case.  By the time I was done the sun was shining and I was told I had just missed seeing a big, beautiful rainbow.
That weather event seemed to sum up this past year in a nutshell.
Like the rainbow this vaccine provides hope after a stormy, uncertain period of time.
I couldn't have been more impressed with the efficient manner in which this local vaccine event was implemented.  

Happy Spring!!