Monday, October 19, 2020

House Hunting

After many years of living in a condo in the city, my son has decided that he is ready to buy his first house.  We have been happy to tag along as his search gets underway.
The house above was one that we looked at over the weekend.
After taking the virtual tour I could hardly wait to see it in person.
Seems I wasn't alone.  Right after it went up for sale the showing calendar was nearly full.  We were able to get an early morning appointment so off we went.

As soon as I walked in I was charmed by the details.
The leaf cabinet pulls and tiles gave the kitchen some personality.
The stained glass piece was an interesting valance over the kitchen sink window.

I wouldn't mind doing dishes here one little bit.

This house had so many interesting little touches.
The inlaid leaves on the first step of the staircase were so unique.

The little shelves under the staircase housed a small collection of  kaleidoscopes.

Often when selling a home we are told to put away all of our personal objects so the prospective buyer can picture themselves living there.
I understand that thinking, but sometimes I tend to disagree.
When I saw this area of the great room I knew instantly that this would be where morning coffee would be enjoyed.  Nestled in between two windows overlooking the lake with those sweet little shelves tucked into the corner.  Swoon!!

In another area of the great room the homeowner positioned a desk behind the sofa, all of which overlooked the lake.  Very nice.
But, what really caught my eye here is the interesting bookcase set-up.  I am always drawn to a closer look when it comes to bookcases.

As a kid I would have loved this little built in child sized reading spot.  There was even a wall mounted reading light in there.  I was very curious to know what was behind those little doors.  I know if I lived here it would be my collection of vintage children's books.

Another swoon worthy feature was this little playhouse on the property.  So sweet.

A wee little sparkly witch sat on the entry mirror.


Despite all of the special touches, this house isn't the right fit for my son.  Later in the day we looked at another house which fit his needs better.  Last night he put an offer in.  It was a very nice house too, but vacant.  Not nearly as fun to take pictures in ; ).

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Kitchen Views

That space above the kitchen cupboards seems to follow trends just like everything else home decor related.
In my last house I was thrilled to finally have that space to play with.
Didn't take long to fill it with plenty of fake ivy and assorted kitchen themed objects.
It was a source of pleasure for years until the day it looked like a bunch of clutter.  Dusty clutter at that.  Who wants to get way up there and dust?  Not me.  So down it all came.  For the next few years it was a welcome relief to see nothing but empty space up there.

Now, it's been almost two years since I moved into this house.
There are a lot of white cabinets in this kitchen with a lot of long walls of space above them.
After awhile it seemed something was lacking up there.
After watching this video I learned that decorating up there is back in vogue, although the rules have changed since the fake ivy days :).

Seems like now it is all about:
- Vignettes
- Varying Heights
- A Cohesive Style

I like the idea of some texture and less color in my vignettes.  Just something interesting without a jolt of color.  
This was our weekend project.  Brett raided the construction dumpsters for 2 by 4s and plywood.  He then constructed platforms to raise the vignettes up.  He went up the ladder while I handed things to him and indicated a little right, a bit to the left... just right.
My part of the job was easy, other than worrying about falls off the ladder or the countertops.  Geesh, I don't remember worrying about that when I used to do it by myself walking on the countertops while hanging onto the crown moldings.  Just another reminder that we're not as young as we used to be.  The only benefit to that is when the dust and cobwebs start to settle up there we won't be able to see it as well.


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Welcoming October

Welcome October

Yesterday I went for a long walk through the neighborhood.
The sky was oh so blue, the air was cool and crisp... in other words a perfect day to be out walking.  At this time of year I enjoy seeing the colorful displays of mums, pumpkins and cornstalks decorating porches and garden beds.  By the time I got home I knew it was time to spruce up my own front porch.  So, off we went in search of a little decorating material.
That barn above is near our last house.  It looks like it's out in the country when it's really in amongst strip malls and subdivisions.  When I used to drive by it weekly I often wondered why it was still standing as it is very dilapidated and looks out of place in it's current surroundings.

Perhaps it is because every year the farmer who owns it brings in his fall harvest and creates a delightful place to go for all of your festive fall feels.
When I asked the farmer how old the barn is he couldn't remember exactly.  He said it was older than Days of Thunder which is at least 30 years ago by now.  Wondering how Days of Thunder related to the barn he told me that it was used in the filming of that movie.  He looked at the barn, smiled and said "Tom Cruise has been in that barn".  Well now, perhaps this is part of the reason the barn still stands.  Trying to remember if I'd ever seen the movie, I searched it out on the internet and learned Tom Cruise played a Nascar driver.  Being that this area is the heart of Nascar, it all made sense.  Being that the movie was about Nascar, I most likely never saw it ;).

Anyhow, back to porch decorating...
While I wasn't quite sure how I planned to decorate, I figured I couldn't go wrong with choosing a few pumpkins and some gourds. In the process of making my selections this scarecrow caught my eye and I knew that he needed to be on the welcoming committee. 

For some reason Brett thought this guy should be part of the welcoming committee.  EEK!!  I don't think so.
Normally Brett doesn't care one way or another when it comes to decorating things.  He seemed pretty adamant about Mr. spider, however.

So, we settled on a smaller version.
He's hairy with red eyes.  Just creepy enough.
By the time we got home darkness had descended, but the full moon and the porch light made it possible to assemble our finds into some semblance of order.

All ready to welcome the new month.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Autumn's Arrival

And all at once Summer collapsed into Fall
~ Oscar Wilde

Typically when the first day of Fall rolls around it is still looking and feeling very Summery around here.  This year, however, Summer appears to have done just as Oscar Wilde stated... collapsed into Fall.
When I went outside this morning the temperature was 46 f.  So cool, yet sunny.  A delightful day has begun.

The change of season always makes me want to make a few changes indoors.  On a recent visit to Aldi I was drawn to this mercury glass pumpkin candle.  It has a pleasant pumpkin spice scent and fit in well with the mercury glass gourd I already had.

I especially like a scented candle on the foyer table.
It adds a warm glow in the evenings as it is getting dark earlier and the seasonal scent makes a pleasant greeting.

With the change of seasons woodsy walks hold a new appeal.
Goodbye humidity and mosquitoes ~ hello crisp air and changing leaves.

Heating up the oven for a pleasant afternoon of baking is another fall favorite.  I did just that on Sunday.  Lorrie was kind enough to share her recipe for date loaf here.  Oh my goodness, is it ever delicious!  So moist with just the right amount of sweetness.
Just the thing to accompany a warming cup of tea or coffee.

Reading always ranks high on my list, perhaps even more so in the cooler months of the year.  That is the time the cozy reads are especially appealing.  Nothing like curling up under a warm blanket with a good book.   I've had an Amazon gift card tucked away since my birthday in April just waiting for the right thing to come along. ;).  Because I have only read one or two of the little house books, it seemed a good time to tackle the entire series in order.  This little library caught my eye.  

With all of the uncertainty of flu season amid covid hanging over our heads, it seems like a good idea to be stocked up on nice diversions.
For me that will include plenty of books.  


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Seems Sally Stole The Sunshine

The other day, Brett popped his head in the door to tell me there was a turtle in the front yard.  I got out there just in time to see this guy climbing up the curb.  I have no idea where he came from or where he was headed, but he offered some new photo ops, so there we both stood snapping away.  Anything for a bit of variety in these strange times we are in.

I woke this morning at 6:25.
Closed my eyes in hopes of a bit more sleep before the 7:30 alarm sounded.  Next thing I knew it was 7:55.  Hmmm,  not sure if I forgot to set the alarm or I turned it off in the midst of exhaustion.
The room was still as dark as the middle of night.
One look out the window revealed the reason.
It seems that the remnants of hurricane Sally will be with us all day.

The sun will be in short supply non-existent here today.

Yesterday the sun shone all day.
The humidity disappeared making it a delightful day to keep the windows open and air the place out.

Today we'll be making our own sunshine and perhaps finishing the puzzle or a book.

What's happening in your world today?

Friday, September 11, 2020

Outside Morning Light

Recently I've been working on methods to help with getting a good night's sleep.  While listening to a doctor speak on ways to strengthen the immune system, quality sleep was naturally mentioned.  I don't know about you, but for me that is often easier said than done.  One of the things she recommended was to get outside morning light daily.  She explained it as going outside with no glass between your eyes and the natural outdoor light (ie:  windows, sunglasses or glasses).  Ideally this should be done for 30 minutes sometime before 11:00 a.m.  Apparently this signals the brain to turn off the melatonin for 14 hours.  Melatonin is naturally released by the brain to help us sleep.  She said that it wasn't an instant fix, but with time it would help with the natural circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle).  

This sounded very logical and easy enough to do.
For the past two weeks it has become my morning routine.
Get dressed, make a cup of coffee and slip out onto the patio.

Currently the little hummingbirds are keeping me entertained.

Some days I watch larger birds glide through the skies.
This day I think they were turkey vultures.
This morning a hawk visited briefly.

September also brings another type of visitor.  Namely spiders and lots of them.  I haven't taken pictures of them as I find them to be creepy.  There is one I see every morning right in the middle of a huge web.  I keep an eye on him to make sure he stays on that web while I am outside.  One day I watched in fascination as he reeled in the entire web as he made his way up to the roof and disappeared.  Fascinating (from a distance :).
The bug in the photo above was hanging out on the patio this morning.  He is either resting in peace or just resting.  Either way he didn't move for the entire 30 minutes I was out there.  Hence the reason I got brave enough to get close enough for a photo.  I am a bit fascinated by the "camo" he is sporting and look at those huge eyes!!

The view looking toward my neighbor's yard.
Just past the last of the crepe myrtle blooms her dogwood tree is beginning to show some fall color.  A perfect illustration of summer giving way to fall.

Since beginning this practice my sleep does seem to be improving.
I plan to make it my permanent routine.
I'm usually out there between 7:30 and 8:00.  A peaceful time of day.
Breathing in the fresh air, enjoying the occasional breeze and getting up close with nature are all nice ways to begin the day.  


On another note:  With my return to blogging I have pretty much figured out the new Blogger changes.  The only thing that I can't figure out is why my text size seems to randomly change on it's own.  Has anybody else had that issue?

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Ways With Trays

With the passing of the Labor Day holiday, thoughts often turn to all things Fall.  By now I am ready for those cooler temperatures, although our weather is usually still screaming Summer.

This year, our temperatures have slipped down into the low 80s and, best of all, the humidity is way down too.
Yesterday, while spending a leisurely Labor Day at home, the fall decorating bug bit.

My seasonal decorating has been greatly simplified in the past few years.
Tray vignettes serve me well.
They are as easy as 1, 2, 3.
As you can see above, the tray on my dining table works like this:

1.  seasonal candle
2.  seasonal napkins
3.  something textural and seasonal.  In the summer it was a vase of flowers or whatever was available to be clipped from the garden.  Now it's a bundle of wheat.

See, easy as can be and also practical.

I decided to change out the candle (previous photo) to this one.
I think the scale is better and I like the mini gourds with the napkins.

Further proof that the decorating has become simple around here.
This tray is near the entrance to my home.
Yesterday I replaced one item to give it a nod to the upcoming season.

Throughout the spring and summer it looked like this.
Bye bye bunny.
Hello mercury glass pumpkin.
: D

I rest my case.
Super simple seasonal decorating.
All thanks to the humble tray.