Monday, March 4, 2019

While waiting...

~ Waiting for Spring's Arrival ~

It shouldn't be too much longer, if you believe the calendar.
I'm getting a bit antsy this year.
Yet, in an effort to be patient while waiting, I snipped a few grape hyacinths and plopped them in a birdy vase.  They joined the etched glass bird and her nest of eggs.  A gift brought from England many years ago.
The windowsill above my desk just got a wee Spring makeover.
For the first time in my married life we have windowsills.
One of those exciting little things for me :).
While I am resisting the urge to clutter them up, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to bring a touch of the outdoors in and why not enjoy it while working and gazing out the window waiting for Spring to arrive in all her glory.


Are you looking forward to Spring?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Garden Dreams

My current herb garden consists of one lone rosemary plant.
In the absence of a real garden, it is being overly pampered while my itchy green thumbs wait most impatiently to get gardening.

 When we moved in at the end of November we weren't quite sure what we wanted to do in the backyard.  So, we did almost nothing.
At the last minute I dug up some grape hyacinth and black eyed Susan from the old house and planted them along the back wall of the new house.

 When we chose our lot we picked one with a protected wetlands in the back.  This was one way to have a bit more privacy on our tiny lot.  In the photo above our lot ends where the lawn stops.  It may not look all that small, but trust me, it is.
Teeny Tiny.

This angle might give you a better idea.
  The window you see is the next-door-neighbor's bedroom.  It's almost close enough to reach over and touch.  We did add 3 shrubs to afford some privacy.  They will grow up to 10' tall and 6-8' wide.
The shrubs are called Fragrant Tea Olive.  At certain times of the year they put out tiny clusters of white blossoms that give off a very pleasant scent.  It has been described as being similar to rose, gardenia or jasmine.  We had them on either end of the patio in our previous garden and loved the subtle waft of fragrance when sitting on the patio or going in and out of the house.

As much as I love to garden, I am not a garden designer.  We have a basic idea of what we want so we consulted with the landscape designers who created the waterfall/fish pond in the last garden.
While we wait to see what they come up with I am trying to be patient.  Our unusual amount of rainy, gray days this winter is making it a challenge.  Yet a trip to the local garden center helped matters.  It was fun to look at all of the seeds and dream of things to come.

 I'm planning to make many of the plants in this new garden do double duty in the form of edible landscaping.  I became intrigued by this idea after reading this post.
I'd really like to work in a fig too.  They do so well here although I know they do get big.  We'll see...

This book has been an inspiration too.
While waiting, I read and dream.

 This house has no built in bookcases.
However, since there are a lot of cupboards I've been satisfying my love for old and new garden books and the vintage garden pieces that survived the massive purging I did prior to moving in a new way.
Little happy spots behind cupboard doors.
My little secret ;).

A recent thrift shop find, this book offers great information for our garden plans.  At the suggestion of our chiropractor, we have been making green smoothies regularly.  That has meant buying lots and lots of greens.  I'm thrilled with the idea of growing them myself for a portion of the year.  It will be nice to save a little green while ingesting all of those greens.


On another note, belated thanks to all who offered kind words, support and even prayers for the dental ordeal in my previous post.  I'm pleased (and relieved) to report that all went well.  Glad to be done with that.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Last Day of January

 This is the sight I saw when I opened the blind in the front bedroom this morning.  

Shortly after that I opened the blind above my desk and this was the view.  When we moved in it was rather quiet on our end of the street.  There were no homes across the street or to the left of us.
Looks like that is about to change.


How are things looking in your neck of the woods on this last day of January?
Are you staying warm?  My gosh, it's been unbelievably cold for a lot of you.  Here it's currently 39 and sunny, yet I have on two sweaters and my slipper socks.  Wimp!
Tomorrow morning I'll be going to a new dentist for part 1 of a crown.  Double Wimp!!  I was feeling so good about myself while eating a healthy breakfast of Greek yogurt, berries and homemade granola.  That is until the part of the granola that seemed awfully hard turned out to be a piece of my tooth.  Ugh!  So, my white knuckles and I will be starting the new month off reclined in the dental torture chamber chair. 😁
Can you tell how excited I am?

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Decorating the Foyer

 The foyer in my last house was the one area that had me stumped for the whole time I lived there.  I know they say the foyer should make a good first impression and create a welcoming feel to all who enter.  The problem was, unless you find a grandfather clock with two pictures next to it exciting, it was lacking on all fronts.
Seems I could never figure out quite what to do with it so I sort of ignored it.
So now, in this new house, I was determined to create a more welcoming foyer right off the bat.
I started by heading to HomeGoods to check out their lamps.  This house has a very open floor plan so I was trying to tie the adjoining room colors together without being too bold.  This lamp with a touch of white, gray and blue seemed ideal.

 I knew I also wanted a mirror, but had no idea what it should look like until I saw this one.  I decided to bring it home and give it a try.

Once we managed to get the mirror hung and played around with the accessories, I was pleased with how it came together.  
My son dropped by shortly after things came together and wondered "what's up with the Gather"?  Ha!  I'm hoping to create a home that encourages new friends to gather together and feel welcome.

As for the grandfather clock and two pictures, they have been relocated right across the hall.  I think they look more comfortable in there :).

Here it is the third week of January and I haven't even wished you all a Happy New Year.  I hope you are managing to stay warm and healthy.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Christmas in the New House

New homes require new ways of doing things.
Because it was time to decorate for Christmas right after the moving truck departed, I chose a few key areas, rummaged through the Christmas bins and decked the halls in no time flat.
I toyed with the idea of doing a mini new home Christmas tour until I saw the pictures and decided against it.  Looks like I need to figure out the lighting better :)

In digging through the bins it seemed like a lot of the old decor  didn't seem quite right in this new more modern home.  The little toy stove was staying either way.  One of the long standing Christmas traditions in my family is cookie baking and that little stove is a happy reminder of just that.
On a side note, shortly after setting up the little display a man was here to go over the new furnace with us.  As he walked by it he stopped and remarked on it wondering how old it was and if it really worked.  We had a chat about it which led to him showing me pictures of his rather new hobby of purchasing old fans (think 1930s and 40s) and restoring them to like new condition.  His work was beautiful and it was evident that he got great joy from finding old rusty fans at antique shops and auctions and bringing them back to life.  Who knew the furnace man would share an interest in old relics from the past too :)

 Speaking of Christmas cookie baking . . .
I soon learned that this new kitchen is a wonderful place to bake in.
I was able to set up an efficient assembly line on this long counter.

 I did sneak in a vintage S & P set in front of the cutting board that was a gift from the builder.  I thought that this was a very meaningful gift as it was made from one of the trees that was on the land before it was developed into a community of homes.

The best gift of all was a visit from this little guy.
He added so much joy and laughter to the holiday.

 Laughter was also found when my oldest son entered the house with his holiday sweater playing music and flashing lights.

In the kitchen Brett exercised his talents at carving the spiral ham and turkey breast.  He had a side kick this year who was more than happy to sample the offerings.

My sister-in-law happily and merrily washing the dishes.
You may think I'm being facetious, but she really does enjoy it.  She owns a dishwasher and has never used it.  Instead she uses it to store things in.  Kind of like another cupboard.

 We watched a variety of movies in the lazy days and nights following Christmas.  One of Jaxson's favorites was the Grinch.  At one point during the movie the Grinch struck a pose that tickled his funny bone tremendously.  That in turn struck my funny bone and we both got the giggles.
Of course you know that once they get a laugh . . .

 the opportunity for more laughs is inevitable even when grandma is doing her best to get a nice picture of her grandson under the tree before he leaves to go home.
Grinch Pose.

 Hiding under my hood pose.

Pinch my uncle's nose pose.

Grandma's Favorite Pose.

As I reflect back over the past few days I can't help but think that the home and decorations set a festive tone, but it's the people coming together sharing their unique talents and gifts that make for the warmest memories of all.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Moving Along . . .

Shortly before Thanksgiving I took a break from packing boxes to take a stroll around the garden with camera in hand.  

 With all of the details required in making a move, the beauty taking place outside the house was largely going unnoticed by me.  One day a visitor commented on how gorgeous our trees were and as she was going on about the amazing colors, I decided it was time to take notice.

 Seems she was right.  Beautiful colors were all around the house that day.  I made my way to the side of the house that I rarely venture as the ground tends to be a bit soggy over there.
As I rounded the corner to the front of the house, I stopped in my tracks . . .

In all the years I have lived here I had never seen this view from this angle.  The two sugar maples we planted specifically for their spectacular fall foliage and the Japanese Maple that provided a pop of red inside our master bathroom.
Somewhere between all of that beauty sits our long driveway.  Racing up and down the driveway going here and there didn't allow for a true appreciation of this autumnal beauty.

 After my little photo session I opted for one final cup of coffee on the patio.  Thinking about leaving behind this garden that I have loved so much started to make me wonder what the he** I was thinking.  :).  I had a moment of panic wondering if this was all a big mistake.  I took a sip of coffee and looked up.

 At first I was intrigued by the cloud formations and then I did a double take.  There amongst the clouds was a rainbow like I have never seen before.

 Rather than arching down at the ends, it curved up at each end like a great big happy smile.  In that instant I knew that the right decision had been made.  Talk about receiving a sign from above.

 In a few short days the moving truck arrived and life around here became a busy blur for the next week or so.

But now we are moved into our new home and becoming a bit more settled with each passing day.
Not long after the Christmas tree was decorated we woke up to a winter wonderland outside the window.
As I sipped my morning coffee and gazed out at our new view, I felt sure that the right decision had been made.


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.