Monday, October 11, 2021

Fall Things

These days not a lot changes from year to year with my seasonal decorating.  I did, however, add a touch of fall to the large island that is visible from most rooms in the house.  Just enough to announce fall's arrival while still leaving plenty of room for all of the other activities that happen around that island.

One of those activities has been putting together this fall themed puzzle.  

Normally at this time of year I look forward to visiting a local pumpkin farm to select a few things to decorate the porch with.
This year I could have cared less one way or the other.  I wanted to care, but just couldn't seem to muster up any enthusiasm.  Part of an increasing slump I find myself in lately, I suppose.
One day Brett deposited me :) at the pumpkin patch while he went off on a few errands.  By the time he came back to get me I had a cart full of pumpkins, gourds and a hay stack waiting to be loaded into the car for future porch decorating.  Seems he knew better than I what was needed to get me out of that slump.  The next morning found me on the porch cleaning windows and porch furniture, sweeping the porch, tossing spent plants followed by arranging those pumpkin farm finds into a pleasing display.

I had about decided there wouldn't be a wreath on the door after looking at the offerings at Tuesday Morning.  Although they had several to choose from, I didn't care for any of them and thought the prices were a bit steep for how "blah" they looked.  
I was very surprised when a neighbor friend rang my doorbell last week with a beautiful fall wreath she had made for me.  I haven't seen her in many months so she wasn't responding to my "slump" yet her timing was interesting.  
After telling her about my visit to Tuesday Morning I offered to pay her.  She prefers to use the barter system so I will be baking her an apple pie in exchange for an apple wreath.  I think I am getting the better end of that deal, but that is what she wanted.

A pottery bowl found at GW last summer.
When I mixed it with a few wood pieces and a wee touch of pewter, I am liking the touch of fall it adds next to the stove.


The very best thing this fall is a precious little addition to my extended family.  My niece's first baby born September 24th.
Unfortunately she lives on the other side of the country in California.  While I would love some cuddle time with her, I so enjoy receiving new photos from the new grandparents.

~ Wishing you a fall filled with happy things and a very Happy Thanksgiving wish to my Canadian readers ~



Monday, August 23, 2021

Hopeful Signs

Our hot and HUMID weather has me looking for hopeful signs of cooler weather to come.  Notice I didn't say fall.  For I know that this is the time of year where many don't want to think of the summer coming to an end.  Truthfully I'm not trying to rush things along.  It's just that I have had it with our current weather situation.
Over the weekend I noticed these orange berries growing alongside the restaurant where we went for dinner.  
Hopeful Sign #1

After dinner we stopped into the garden center to look for something.  While Brett was paying for our purchases, I searched for a spot of shade in which to wait.  These mums looked totally out of place in this heat.  I can't imagine planting them this early as they will be done blooming when fall weather arrives.  Either way I am counting them as . . .

Hopeful Sign #2

Right next to the mums were these white coneflowers.
I have the more traditional purple coneflowers (echinacea purpurea).
They perform well here and the butterflies and goldfinches are drawn to them.  Many of mine have gone to seed which I will leave on the plant through fall as the finches are already daily visitors.  When it comes to birdseed I don't think you can't get much fresher than that.  So, flowers that feed the birds through fall.  You guessed it. . .

Hopeful Sign #3

Not far from those white coneflowers I found a few in orange and red tones and look what the tag says Fall is for Planting.  
So, it may not be fall and it definitely doesn't feel like fall, but perhaps a few new flowers in fallish colors will fool me into thinking the temperatures are cool and crisp.
Ha! Ha! Ha!  Very doubtful.
However, unlike the mums, these should do well now and right up until frost hits.  Sounds like another hopeful sign to me.

Hopeful Sign #4

Three new coneflowers have found their way into my garden.
Right after planting the visitors began to arrive.
Beautiful butterflies fluttering among the flowers . . .

Always A Hopeful Sign.


Thursday, August 19, 2021

On The Water

After several stormy days we were rewarded with a bright, beautiful  day.  That blue sky filled with big white fluffy clouds reminded me of summer days as a kid when the possibilities seemed endless.

When we sold our house three years ago, the boat was sold along with it.  We had a lot of fun over the years on that boat, but it was time to move on.  
One of the benefits of our new community is membership in a boat club.  Now, if we want to get out on the water, we can rent a boat for the day.

Yesterday we picked out a nice pontoon with a slide and headed out for a day on the water.

With over 500 miles of shoreline, Lake Norman offers plenty of room for exploration.  

Due to it being a weekday, the motor boat traffic was fairly light.
Perhaps that's why the sailboats were enjoying the moment.

Something very summery about a line-up of sailboats.

One of my favorite things about boating has been checking out the lakefront homes.  A few of them even had their own helicopters.

While floating in the water it was hard to resist looking for pictures among the clouds.  This one reminded me of something I'd seen previously . . .

Not the clearest picture, but hopefully you get the idea.

After our time cruising the lake, swimming (and going down that slide) it was time to head back to the marina.  I turned to look behind us and saw the sun setting over the water.  One lone cloud seemed to be heading towards the sun or perhaps it was about to plummet into the depths of the water.  I took three quick photos with my phone.  This one had that little round hole in the cloud which I thought was kind of neat.  Does anything come to mind when you see this cloud formation?

How are you enjoying these late summer days?

Monday, August 9, 2021

Summer Garden Notes


Before summer comes to an end, it seems a good time to take a few garden notes.  
Last fall we relocated the Annabelle hydrangea.  It's original home was too sunny which caused poor performance.  It now receives morning sun only and is expressing it's new location happiness in the form of profuse blooms.

When selecting it's new location, I thought placing it outside my office/laundry room window might be nice.  I am happy to report that it has made for a pleasurable work day to see the flowers along with the bees and butterflies that come to visit.  The Japanese Beetles were frequent visitors too.  Thankfully they are long gone now.

When I set up this grouping on the kitchen counter I envisioned the day I could fill the Ball jars with hydrangeas.  It doesn't take many to make a sizable bouquet.

A few more paired with Black-Eyed Susans made a cheerful centerpiece for the dining table.

The potatoes that were planted in pots here did very well.
We harvested them in June and they were delicious.
Our favorite way to prepare them was boiled until tender.  A bit of butter and plenty of fresh chopped chives sprinkled on top.
As for that squash...
When we purchased our two tomato plants in the spring I noticed a little vine coming out of one of them.  I figured it was either a cucumber or some type of squash.  It's been fun to wait and see what little surprise was in store.  So far we've harvested 5 yellow crookneck squash.  

The bees have been enjoying the purple coneflowers all summer.
Now the goldfinches are beginning to enjoy the seedheads.
For that reason I won't be clipping them off.

You can't beat the return on your investment with a pack of zinnia seeds.  One packet provided two bigs pots of colorful cheer on the patio.  They have provided countless little bouquets around the house and the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are frequent visitors.
At this point the foliage is looking a bit rough.  The hummers aren't bothered by that so, as long as they continue to visit, I will keep watering them.

A few in a vase along with a snip of coleus.
Another way to brighten the workday ; ).


This is the time of year when some people are hanging onto summer for all it's worth while others can't wait for autumn's arrival.

Do you have any thoughts on the matter??

Have a wonderful week.


Monday, July 5, 2021

A Lovely Weekend From Start To Finish

Hello again dear readers (if there are any still out there :).
I'm coming out of my most recent blogging slump to share a bit about our Independence Day holiday weekend.
Although the holiday fell on Sunday, the festivities began Friday.

Friday morning began on a dark, dreary, rainy note.
While sipping my 2nd cup of coffee and trying to wake up, I received a phone call asking whether I was up for a bit of thrifting and lunch out.  My first thought was that I could be quite content staying home on such a day.  On the other hand getting out might be just the thing to put some purpose in the day so off I went.
We are a bit guilty of going to the same restaurants for lunch depending on the location.  This day we decided to try something new.  A French inspired cafe.  The cozy atmosphere complete with patriotic decor was especially welcome on this dull day.

The chicken salad croissant was tres magnifique!
The cafe is owned by a couple and the husband is the chef.  His croissants are so light and flaky.  His carrot cake was highly recommended by the waitress.  She said he takes two days to make it.  Although we were stuffed, it seemed like splitting a piece of that famous cake might be a nice way to begin the holiday weekend.

Later in the day the rain had cleared and it was time to hang the buntings and flags in preparation for the big day.
Those rocking chairs were soon to be prime parade viewing spots.

In our neighborhood the parade comes in the form of golf carts.
Since we don't own one, we are happy to wave to them as they all drive by.

Once the parade was over and we had chatted with the neighbors for awhile it was time to get to work.  I had volunteered to bring dessert to the party which was happening right next door at 6:00.

It sure is nice to be able to enjoy a parade from the front porch and a neighborly get together a few steps away.  No traffic to contend with.
After the party (and all of those desserts) we decided to take a walk.

Stepping out the front door we were greeted by a red, white and blue sky.  A fitting way to end this very American holiday.  The weather was so unusually delightful (no humidity and coolish temps).  We just walked and walked until it was completely dark.  With any luck some of the calories were burned up. ; ).

With Sunday being the true holiday, our son came over for burgers on the grill.  What a thrill to be able to pick this season's first tomato and slice it up for topping the burgers.  Corn on the cob, roasted potatoes and leftover dessert made for an easy dinner.

 Perhaps one of the contributing factors to the shaping of this wonderful weekend was that we could join together once again in celebration of our United States of America.  After being isolated by the pandemic and so much political division, it felt like a sigh of relief to join together in celebration of our country once again.


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Thrift Shop Treasures & A Bit of Decorating

This beautiful mosaic vase caught my eye while out thrifting last week.  As I stood there trying to decide whether I might "need" it, I saw the original price sticker from Pier 1... $49.99.  It was at that moment that I grabbed a shopping cart.  Surely there was somewhere I could use it.  Incidentally, the lantern next to it in the photo came from the same thrift store several years ago.

I guess it was a good thing I grabbed the cart because soon these wooden candle sticks were added.  I know these can be pricey.  To find a set of three was definitely a good find in my humble opinion.
Once home, I went from room to room assessing where I might best use these newfound treasures.

I liked the way the colors worked with the comforter and picture in the guest room.  So, I shopped the house for a few more things and gave the dresser a little refresh.  

While shopping the house I also rounded up a few items for this new shelf.  It didn't come from the thrift shop (I wish), but it fills a wall that I've been trying to fill ever since I moved here.  The wall is between the kitchen and a little hallway leading to the powder room.  I've been looking for something other than another picture.  When I saw this shelf, I thought it might be just the thing.  I added a battery operated candle to give it a bit of ambience for those headed to the powder room in the evening hours ;).  I think it will be fun to change up for the seasons and holidays too.

Destination:  Powder Room
I guess this explains why I wanted something other than a picture on this wall.

These little projects have come at a good time.  It's been unusually cold here for this time of year.  In fact, the furnace is still running.  Usually by now we've had the A/C on for a month or so.  Yesterday it never made it out of the low 50s and rained all day.  A good day to stay in my slipper socks and sweater.  

Also a good day to finish my puzzle.

What have you been up to lately?

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.