Thursday, July 11, 2019

Sending Out an S.O.S. to My Fellow Bloggers

Hello there.
I'm popping in with a plea to my fellow bloggers.
There is one aspect of blogging that I struggle with, yet many of you seem to have mastered with ease.

There was a time when I would assemble a collage into a header on PicMonkey and then make that my header.
There was a time when I could figure out where to find the size of the header and even alter it.

Now when I go to PicMonkey I am told I need to do a free trial to be able to save my creations.  Used to be I could just log in, make my collage and then save it.  I just used the basic (free) plan at that time.  For those of you who use it, is there no such thing as free use anymore?

After spending some time on it today, I got fed up and decided to just edit my header by putting a simple picture up there with a very basic title.  You can see the GIGANTIC result above.
Thinking I would go in and change the header dimensions, it seems the only ways I have found to do it require playing with HTML.  
As you might have guessed I am not the person to be doing that!
If anybody can tell me an easy way without involving HTML to shrink it, I would be very grateful.

Perhaps someone can point me in the right direction.
Until then, don't be frightened by my gargantuan pond :/.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Around the House on a Summer's Day

~ in the garden ~

The black-eyed-Susans that I brought from our last house are now blooming.  It's nice to have a little reminder of my old garden here in my new one. 
Just above them hangs the hummingbird feeder.  Prior to hanging it 
we wondered if there were any hummers around as we hadn't seen any.  Only took a few days until they showed up and they are constant visitors ever since.
We enjoy sitting on the patio in the evening watching them stop by to dine.  

~ out the office window ~

When it's too hot to be outside I can still enjoy birdwatching.
My son gave me this window feeder for my birthday in April.
It took awhile for them to find it, but now the finches are my daily companions while I am working at the computer.
I love being able to spy on them from this close vantage point.

~ in the kitchen ~

Sometimes I am amazed at how I procrastinate about the simplest things.
Making hummus from scratch seems to be one of those things.
I have had the chickpeas and tahini on hand for months and months thinking I would make it.  It's not like it's difficult or anything :/.
Getting bored with lunches around here lately, I tossed the ingredients in the food processor, cut up a few veggies and called it a meal.  A light, healthy lunch.  Perfect for summertime.

~ on the nightstand ~

I think memoirs are one of my favorite genres to read.
Providing the person or subject matter interests me, they are the type of book I find hard to put down.
When I started seeing this one mentioned around blogland and Instagram I went out and bought it.
I'm one third of the way through and can hardly wait til bedtime to read a few more chapters.

Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom.  Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head for the hills" bag.

Just a little hint if you might be interested.


Are you reading anything noteworthy
having any interesting lunches?

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Kitchen Fun and Porch Sprucing

While strolling through the local thrift shop I paused to take a closer look at this print.  It was sporting a brown wood frame which didn't suit it.  However, looking past that it offered a lot of interesting elements.  Hello aqua Mason jar, little wren in the chef's hat, vintage recipe card and dragonfly perched on the aqua eggs.
The $3.00 price tag kind of sealed the deal.
Once home the first order of business was releasing it from that horrid frame.
I propped it up on my kitchen counter and rather liked the way the subway tile in the print and in my kitchen blended together so well.
Thinking it needed something more to fill the space on the counter, I went searching in cupboards and drawers.
An aqua Mason jar and this bee skep candle looked like promising subjects.

A few more treasured pieces and a hydrangea from the garden were all that was needed.
Now when washing dishes and peeling carrots my eyes will rest on this happy vignette.  
Not bad for 3 bucks and a scavenger hunt through the house.

The sweet whimsical details on this print made me curious to know a bit more about the artist.  After taking a picture of her signature and enlarging it I was able to make out the name.  Katie Crawford.  Thanks to the wonder of the internet I was led 
here.  A delightful spot to peek around in.

In other news, we got the flag hung.

The porch furniture has been scrubbed (finally).  Lots of dirt in the air with all of these new houses going up.
The bunting is hung and we are ready for another Independence Day in the USA.
If you will be celebrating, enjoy!


Saturday, June 29, 2019

It's Summer... Time to Dust Off The Blog

 Upon opening my blog today it was a bit of a surprise to see that two months have slipped by since there have been any posts published.  Spring has given way to summer and here we are.

 In that time our landscaping projects have been completed.
What was scheduled to take a few weeks turned into a few months.
That's okay though because now we have hydrangeas and . . .

a water fountain to provide that calming, cooling atmosphere that is so welcome on these steamy summer days.

Happy Summer!
Keep Cool ~ Hop in the Pool!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Touring the Gardens of Fourth Ward

It had been a few years since I'd been on a garden tour, so when I heard about one that was upcoming, the decision to go was made quickly.  This one took place in a historic neighborhood in Charlotte called Fourth Ward.  
Our oldest son lives in one of Charlotte's many high rise condo buildings which are typically what I think of when I think of living in the city.
Little did we know that within walking distance was this gem of a neighborhood waiting to be discovered.

 Near the start of the tour sat this gorgeous home.
Very well-maintained and majestic.
While it wasn't officially on the tour, I couldn't help but take a few photos.
 The gardens were also beautiful.

The wraparound porch caught my eye and the hanging light fixtures stopped me in my tracks.  I'd happily show up with homemade cookies and a pitcher of fresh squeezed lemonade in exchange for sitting a spell in such lovely surroundings.

 Turning the corner I couldn't resist a wee peek through the arbor.
Classical music was floating through the air.  Sigh!

 This charming house was on the tour.
Between you and I, I'd be quite happy to share a little homemade cookie and lemonade love on this front porch too.  Both would be wonderful places to sit and watch the world go by.

 The backyard garden illustrated that swimming pools are possible even on smallish city lots.  The two streams of water arching into the pool gave it such a tranquil feel.

 Next to the pool was this adorable storage shed or maybe it's a playhouse.  Either way it fit so nicely into the landscape.

 It was interesting to see how beautiful gardens were created even in seemingly tiny spaces.  Here they planted lush gardens in amongst the entrances to several townhouses.  The azaleas were in full bloom and paired nicely with these large ferns.

There was even a little waterfall tucked in amongst the plants.
A garden bench was placed across from it.
If I were a city dweller, I would really appreciate this natural area right outside my front door.  Seems to me somebody planned this out really well.

This honeysuckle covered gate in another garden added a feeling of privacy with a nice peek into the neighborhood.

It was fun to spend the day gazing into the gardens of others.
Almost like a little vacation.
It also inspired us to stop at the garden center on the way home to purchase a few plants for our own garden.
Once they are planted, I think it will be lemonade and cookies on the patio.


Hope your weekend has been enjoyable.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Bits of Blue


~ On Saturday we visited a new(ish) garden center.  It was one of those wonderful places filled with beauty, inspiration and a very knowledgeable staff.  What's not to like about that combination?
Since I have several blue garden pots in the garage, I was keeping an eye out for pleasing plant combinations to fill them with.

~With spring's arrival the bluebirds are visiting the feeder and the nesting boxes we put out for them.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for new little families in the very near future.

~ There is a little vase sitting on the top shelf of a plant stand in my family room.  Each afternoon when I'm passing through there the sun illuminates it beautifully and I think I should take a picture of that.  Today I did.

~ My birthday was on Good Friday this year.  It rained that day with a tornado warning thrown in the mix.  It seemed like a good day to stay in.  So, I did.  Stayed in and baked myself a carrot cake.  Well, actually it was for Easter and I shared it with the family.

~ Easter was a lovely day.  We ate lots of good food and then went on a walking tour of homes being built across the street.  

~ The next day, while washing up the dishes, it occured to me that I didn't take a single picture on Easter.  It also occurred to me as I was drying the china that I haven't changed much since picking out my wedding china.  Something Blue.

~ I liked blue then and still do as you may have guessed by now.
Since my birthday it's been nothing but blue skies around here.
Last evening the spring green leaves on the trees looked so pretty with the clear blue sky background.  

Any bits of blue capturing your attention lately?

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

An Evening Walk

Around here the construction crews arrive early and since the majority of the new homes are going up across the street and down the street, that makes for a steady stream of construction trucks and workers.  Neighborhood walks during the day would involve a lot of maneuvering around obstacles and, therefore, don't happen often.

The secret is to wait until just before sunset when most have finished their day's work.  Things are much quieter and the hammering is replaced by the sound of birdsong.  
Tonight after washing the dinner dishes, I put on my walking shoes, grabbed my phone and slipped out the door.
Dogwoods and Redbuds were calling my name.

Here our mail is delivered to a central location within the neighborhood.  It is a nice little walk to get there.  A few rolling hills are involved.  That was my destination on this lovely evening.
In the distance the sun began it's descent.

Before long it would be gone from the horizon and another day would be nearing it's end.  Time to head for home.

In our last house we planted a redbud right outside the master bathroom window.  It grew well and soon filled in the view looking especially lovely at this time of year.  If you've been around long enough you may remember it here.  It was one of the many aspects of the garden that was hard to leave behind.  Before moving into this house we were happy to see that the developers planted a few trees in the commons area on the side of the house.  Imagine our delight when the one situated right outside the master bath turned out the be another redbud.  It's beginning to feel like home more every day.