Sunday, November 4, 2018

Outdoors in November


Delightful weather and beautiful fall foliage seem to beckon one out for a walk.  The time is right to enjoy the outdoors before the leaves have all fallen.  
Recent days have found me heading down the trail behind our house.
Now that I know there won't be many more walks here, I am seeing things in a new light.

 The fall color show is in full swing around here, although some of the trees are beginning to drop their leaves.

 A bit of red.
 This is the tree right across the street from us.
Each morning the sun illuminates it making this autumn beauty even more stunning.  When I look out the dining room window, it is the sight that greets me first thing.  A wonderful way to start the day.  

Something else that got my attention this week.
One last large clematis blossom greeting me every time I went to the mailbox.  Each day I expected it to be gone, yet there it was.
In a strange way I felt like parting is going to be sweet sorrow for both of us. :)  Maybe you have to be a gardener to appreciate that thought or maybe I'm just a bit strange :D.

This photo from last spring might do a better job of showing just why she will be missed.  I planted her years ago and with very little care since then she put on a spectacular spring show every year.
Through the years many people in the neighborhood have commented on how beautiful she is.  Last year we even had a tall teenage boy stop, take out his earbuds and tell us how it makes him happy when he walks by and sees it in bloom.  Wow!
So, while I will miss her, I'm happy to think that others will continue to enjoy and appreciate her.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

It Won't Be Long Now

With just under a month until we close on the new home, things are moving right along over there.  We are still going for our weekly visits to check on progress.  Since it's been awhile since I've shared any photos here, I thought I'd give you a wee update.
Soon this will be the view from the kitchen sink.

 This angle gives the fuller picture.  In the foreground is the large island that will be replacing the formal dining room table.
You may have noticed that this kitchen isn't lacking in cupboard and drawer space.  I'm beginning to wonder what will be going into them now that I have purged so many of my belongings.

 If I am standing at the kitchen sink looking diagonally, there lies the great room.  On our last visit the builders had just been in to put blue tape on all of the areas requiring touch ups and further attention.  They seemed to do a very thorough job as there was blue tape everywhere.

 In the master bath I was going for a bit of decorative tile with a slight sea glass look to it.

And because I am itching to get back to playing with dΓ©cor...
I found these mercury glass Christmas trees in the Habitat ReStore recently and instantly envisioned them on the bathroom counter.  It's hard to tell in the photo, but the countertops have little flecks of a seafoam color and little flecks of sparkle.  When the sun hits it just right it sparkles like a diamond or maybe a piece of sea glass :).
These little trees light up and I think they will be such a pretty night light during the holiday season.  Just to the right of the trees is the bathtub.  By the time this move is complete I'm thinking it will be nice to sink into that tub and relax by the light of the wee Christmas trees.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Pumpkin Talk and a Few Other Things

If you removed everything from the steps and porch, that would be how things are looking around here this October. This photo was from last year when I talked about my plans for those pumpkins in 

 The pumpkins were roasted, pureed and tucked into the freezer for future use.  It was quite amazing to see how many bags of the stuff I ended up with.  πŸ˜‰
With a move in the near future, I've been working at whittling down the freezer contents.
So, today I poked around the internet for a healthy pumpkin muffin recipe.  I found one that sounded interesting and gave it a try this afternoon.

I like muffins that are slightly sweet.
It seems there is a WIDE range of sweetness levels when it comes to muffins.  Some might as well be cupcakes (hello grocery store bakery muffins).  
These were made with a small amount of honey and a nice variety of the fall spices that seem to taste so good at this time of year. 
The recipe can be found here if you would like to try them.

In other news,
Specifically, moving news...
Since my last post our house has been "under contract".
Closing dates were established, papers signed, moving trucks scheduled, inspections completed and the boxes have been filling almost daily.  Then, out of the blue, the buyers withdrew their offer and we are back to square one.  More than a tad disappointing.
We are set to close on the new house in mid-November and were happy that things seemed to be working out well with the timing of both closings.
After hearing this latest development yesterday my mind headed where it seems to always go first... worry land.  
Then I decided to head in a different direction and keep busy.
Heaven knows there is plenty to keep busy with around here.
Packing, more packing and keeping the house sparkling for future showings.  If all of that doesn't keep me moving in a forward direction,  I'll keep working on this plan:

It seemed to work pretty well today.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Shape of a Week

One week ago today the house was officially put on the market.
Rooms were cleaned, carpets vacuumed and all traces of "us" removed.  The stage had been set.
Right away the showings began and we quickly established a routine to get all the blinds raised, lights on, personal items stashed, tote bag packed and scram.

Meanwhile, Brett's mom and sister had driven up from Florida for a visit.  Mid-week we took them into Charlotte to see our oldest son's downtown condo.  From his 15th floor, the signs of city living loom large and the skies had begun to darken.

Thing were looking very inviting around the pool until large raindrops sent us back indoors.

Back on the homefront the showings continued and a few offers trickled in.
With talk of a hurricane named Florence on the horizon we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather on Thursday and have lunch on the patio.  The last of the watermelon tasted especially sweet on this late summer day.

Friday brought a 3rd offer and a request for a 2nd showing.
It also brought more warnings that Florence might make her presence known in our part of the state in the form of power outages and prolonged heavy rain.  It seemed like a good idea to stock up on groceries and water.  Since there were no afternoon showings I spent a few hours in the kitchen preparing a few things to keep us fed.  

The granola jar is stocked.
A loaf of banana bread awaits.
The flashlights, candles and oil lamps are handy.
Cars are filled with gas.
The last task will be filling the bathtub with water.  If the power were to go out, this water would be necessary for toilet flushing.

This morning the news coverage is heartbreaking to see so many areas along the coast being flooded. My prayers go out to the people who are being directly impacted and also to the many people who are working around the clock to help where they are needed most.  

Monday, August 27, 2018

Azaleas in August

Do you grow the Encore variety of azaleas?
When we re-landscaped the backyard a few years back, the plan included several of them.
Prior to that we had only spring bloomers.
So, while strolling through the garden this morning, I was caught off guard by them blooming their little hearts out.

For a brief moment I had to wonder whether it was April or August.  My mind still equates azaleas with Easter and springtime.
No matter the month they sure do make a beautiful statement.

Late summer also brings the blooming of the ornamental grasses.
This one also makes me think of springtime as it is called "Little Bunny".

As we prepare to hang the For Sale sign, I am appreciating the special attributes this home provided.  This view outside our bedroom window will be hard to leave.  I think I'll even miss the frog chorus that has become such a part of late spring and summer.
However, the time is right for a new place to call home and I look forward to blooming where I am planted.

Monday, August 13, 2018

A Visit to The New House

Sunday is the day we drive out to the new house to check progress.
Things are moving right along and yesterday I remembered to take some pictures.  
The driveway and windows are in.

I realize the building process may not be too exciting for some, but I'm recording it to look back on the process as it unfolded.
If this holds any appeal to you, I invite you to step through the front door and take a peek.

This week we were surprised to see all the drywall has now been installed.  Every time we visit the place is immaculate inside.
It's kind of hard to make sense of the whole layout at this point , but here we are a few steps into the front entry.
The large opening to the right is called a "flex room".  In other words, use it for whatever you want... a dining room, office, living room, etc.  
Just past this room is a small courtyard with the kitchen across from it on the left.  The long vertical piece you see on the left will be a large island.  
Past this area will be the family room on the right.
The kitchen table will sit in front of the door wall at the end of the picture.
Have I confused you yet ;).

Now, about that kitchen...
It's the room you are looking at here and the room that sold me on the floor plan.  Doesn't look like much now, I know.
The vertical piece in there is another island where the kitchen sink will be.  In the foreground (with my purse on it) is the location of the island previously mentioned.  This will become our new dining area.  No more formal dining room for us.  We're going casual this time around.

Family room view.
Fireplace coming soon.

Master bedroom window view.
I'm already picturing my reading chair positioned there.

By the time we finished checking things out yesterday we were nearly melting.  The heat and humidity continues!
While standing on the back patio I spotted this sign of things to come.


They are estimating our house to be ready for move in by late November - early December.

This house will be going on the market September 1st.  It may seem to you like I've been talking about this for ages and should be moved in by now.  Ha!  A lot has been going on behind the scenes with getting this one ready for selling and purging our belongings.  I think the end is in sight and, at this point, will be relieved when the For Sale sign goes up and order must be restored to the rooms.
It's been all consuming and that also explains why I haven't been commenting on your blogs much.  I try to keep up with what's happening out there in blogland but just can't let myself get too sidetracked or I'll never be done with the work at hand.
I hope you are all enjoying the waning days of summer.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Houses, Homes and Home Sweet Home

While tugging on a weed below the bluebird house, I heard a bird come flying out.  In years past we would have been keeping better tabs on that little house.  By now we would have most likely seen a new little family come into the world.  This year, however, we've been preoccupied with all things moving related.
It was a welcome surprise to peek into the house and discover four little eggs.  I'll now pay closer attention as the new residents make this little birdhouse their home.

Inside the updating and sorting continues.
As we continue to purge our belongings and set the stage for the next owners, this house is feeling less like our home.
Surprisingly I am enjoying having my rooms minimally decorated.  Makes it easy to keep them dusted and vacuumed.  
Although, at times I still have the urge to move things around... you know... play!  But since the stager has recommended keeping things in place, I am resisting the urge. Ha!
There was one little spot that I hadn't figured out.
The area above the desk in the kitchen.  When she came to make her recommendations she looked up there and said to remove everything with color.  Once I did that I was left with nothing.
Color had been taking place up there for years as you can see here 
and here.
I pulled what few white things I could find from the cupboards and made a trip to Home Goods.  Not wanting to take anything to the new house that I won't be using, I made careful selections.
A couple of vases, a square white plate and the Welcome Home sign.  I'm hoping that by the time the prospective buyers read it they will already be picturing themselves living here.  Reading that will just be confirmation. :).

 Meanwhile, progress is being made on our next home.
Last week it was just a slab.
Now I am beginning to see Home Sweet Home.