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!!


Monday, February 22, 2021

Late Winter Garden Notes

Saturday's arrival brought blue, sunny skies.  
Oh my, what a welcome sight!
Our long stretch of cold, gray gloom was beginning to take a toll.
With nothing on the day's schedule, I promptly decided it was going to be an outside gardening day.  At first glance it may seem early for any gardening, but I knew there were a few early chores to be accomplished.  Before I began I just sat on the patio enjoying the sun on my face and the chance to breathe in the fresh cool air.  In the distance the sound of birdsong made me know that despite what the weather might be saying, springtime is just around the corner. 

Late winter is the time I cut back the ornamental grasses.  Trimming away last year's dry foliage to make way for fresh new green shoots always feels hopeful.

The one above is liriope (aka:  monkey grass).  There are five of them around the backyard water feature and five in the front yard.

I found a pair of scissors worked best to give them all a haircut.

Once done, things were looking much tidier.

This twiggy looking thing is my Annabelle Hydrangea.
Not too impressive right now, but come summer it should be filled with big white blossoms.  

In an effort to ensure that happening I cut it back to within 6-10" from the ground before it breaks dormancy.

Once the work was done I strolled the garden looking for signs of new life.  In the herb garden I noticed fresh green chives popping out.

Last fall I had a few crocus bulbs left over and stuck them into a patio pot.  We're expecting a few days in the 60s this week which I imagine will coax them into bloom.

My three little blueberry plants are filling up with buds.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a healthy harvest come summer.

Although most of my spring bulbs have poked out of the ground, the only bloom to be found is this one lone snowdrop.  A sign of things to come.   I can hardly wait for the show to begin.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Pandemic Projects

In the early days of this pandemic it seemed like a good idea to use the time at home wisely by tackling projects that never seem to make it off the "to do list".  I found this post to be very encouraging at a time that seemed so uncertain.

Looking back over these many months, in some ways it seems like not much got accomplished.  Perhaps it is because they weren't major accomplishments like learning a new language or perhaps it is because nobody comes in to appreciate the small fruits of our labor.
I guess we really have ticked off a fair amount of things that give us a sense of accomplishment and add a bit of variety to the days.
One such project happened last weekend.  I might add that it was a non-stop rainy weekend so a little project was most welcome.
This project involved a guest room wall that had not been decorated since moving in two years ago.  I couldn't quite figure out what to do with it so I did nothing.  

A recent visit to HomeGoods served as the inspiration to get things moving.  I might add that my shopping trips are still very limited at this point.  However, after seeing so many favorite shops go out of business, I try to do a small part in supporting those that are hanging in there.
Last week I felt lucky to find something that seemed like it might work for that wall across from the bed.  After measuring and pounding a few holes in the wall, a pleasing arrangement was found.
Just one thing was missing . . .

The photos!
In trying to decide which photos to include in this collage, I opted for memories made since moving into this house.  Sure do wish I could see them in person more often.  For now, I enjoy seeing their smiling faces every time I pass through this room.  Currently that is several times a day as it is on the indoor walking route :).  Another pandemic project (of sorts) has been to increase the daily steps.  During this long string of rainy days here that has made for a lot of passes through the guest room.

Have you tackled any projects recently?