Thursday, January 29, 2015

Somewhat Snowy

Nope, there's not a single flake falling from our southern skies.
So, today while dusting and straightening I decided to seek out a few snowy touches to be found indoors.
This little snowy watercolor called out to me while perusing an antique shop last year.  Something so peaceful about that little church nestled along the snowy riverbank.  Of course the yellow, blue and white color combo helped to cinch the deal :-).
The little bird was found at the Habitat ReStore and the wee pine cone picked up on a recent walk.
A pleasing little vignette sitting right outside the powder room.

This isn't really snowy at all except the blue/white combo reminds me a bit of what the landscape would look like if it were covered in snow and the sky was sparkling blue.
While we're here in the dining room, I have a question for you.
Do you keep a dining table set even if no company is coming to dine?
I usually don't.  However, this year after Christmas the long dining table seemed rather bare.  So just for fun I started playing with linens and dishes.

The runner makes me think of delicate snowflakes.

Sometimes I light the candle in the evenings just to cozy things up around here.

  Snow can be found in the bedroom on this pretty candleholder.
This was a thrift shop find.  A Lenox piece and one that I was happy to bring home.  It adds a touch of winter warmth and I think the candlelight looks so pretty through the little prism.

When our house was being built I envisioned two chairs and a table by the windows.  A place for Brett and I to find quiet respite from the raising of two teenage boys.  In our 15 years here we have sat here together maybe 4 times.  I'm not sure Brett's on the same page with the "quiet respiting"  :D

 I, on the other hand, have no trouble finding reasons to respite.
In fact I've already laid claim to that sunny seat for a little afternoon reading with a mug filled with something warm.
We may not have real snow, but it is cold.

Already have my reading material picked out.
Do you read Maeve Binchy?
She has been one of my favorite authors for years.
I was so sad to learn that she passed away a few years ago.
On a recent trip to the library I stumbled upon this book.
I thought I had read all of hers by now.

I was especially delighted to know that Chestnut Street has a connection to Minding Frankie which just might be my hands down favorite book she ever wrote.  Such a sweet story with such endearing characters.

Well, I guess I'd better stop chasing indoor snowflakes and finish up the housework. 
I feel a "respite" coming on.

If you are dealing with real snow, I hope you are staying safe and warm.

*  *** *

Monday, January 26, 2015

Rainbows in the Morning

 What's the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning?
I pondered that thought after Christmas when I was trying to find the ideal spot for a cherished gift I had received from my sister.


 A rainbow maker needed a sunny spot to work it's magic.
The transom window opposite our bed seemed like it might be the best place.
Now when the morning sun peeks in the window our room becomes filled with magical little rainbows.

Throughout the morning they move about the room.
Here is one peeking into the bathroom doorway.
 Shortly after making the bed I noticed one above the pillows.

Another mingling with the planter on the dresser.

Perhaps my very favorite is this one showing the silhouette of the philodendron leaf.  Looks a bit like a heart surrounded by a rainbow.
Waking up to an angel in my window spreading rainbows throughout the room is a lovely way to begin the day.
It's also a little way of keeping my sister close despite the distance between our homes.
I am reminded of the blessing she has been in my life.
Before crawling out of bed I think of her and send up a prayer for her continued healing.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

January Afternoon

 Stepping onto the patio this afternoon was all it took to get my green thumbs itching.  Itching to pull a few weeds, trim a few spent perennials and pick up stray limbs and leaves, that is.  I realize this may not sound enticing to everyone, but I think the gardeners among us can probably relate.  It just feels so good to be out in the fresh air becoming one with nature once again.

The one nice thing about gardening at this time of year is the work load is fairly light.  Which, in turn, leaves more time for sitting on the patio and enjoying the warm sunshine and soothing waterfall sounds.
While I was sitting there I thought that maybe some of you might like to enjoy it along with me so I made an attempt at movie making.   

 After awhile I decided to fill the birdbath and feeders.
Then it was time to sit down and wait for the dinner guests to arrive.

 It wasn't long until the first one showed up.
A wee little chickadee who seems to be asking the hummingbird if it's okay to begin eating.
Looks like the answer was "yes".

 Birdwatching was followed by a walk around the block.
Jaxson wasn't ready to call it a day until he and grandpa could check on the goldfish.
Once it was decided that everybody was present and accounted for, it was time to head in for dinner.
Simple pleasures on this January afternoon.
Now tell me about your afternoon.  I hope it was a good one and you, too, enjoyed simple pleasures.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Hint of Summertime on This Winter Evening

When the weather outside is frightful, I find a steaming bowl of soup to be quite delightful.
This afternoon I gathered an assortment of vegetables from the fridge and went to work chopping them up.  That shriveled zucchini that's been lingering since Christmas was still fit for the soup pot.
On this damp and chilly day I was thankful for the basil and garlic chives I had dried late last summer.  Before adding them to the pot I rubbed them between my fingers and was reminded of the fragrance of the summertime herb garden.  A very pleasant thought I might add.

As the vegetable soup simmered, my crusty no-knead bread was baking away in the oven.  I've made this bread before and am always amazed at how easy and delicious it is.  I was inspired to make it again after watching this.  If you've never made it, I can assure you it really is just as simple as it looks and if you like crusty bread, you'll love this.

While the bread was baking
and the soup was simmering,
the wheels were turning :).

Hey, I just remembered something else I tucked away last summer.
Into the freezer I go to fetch that little bag of green ice cubes.
Once melted... fresh basil pesto.  So nice to spread on that fresh from the oven bread on this wintery evening. 

I had never frozen pesto before as I had read once that it would turn dark and be unappetizing.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the bright green color once the ice cube melted. 

Note to self:  freeze and dry more summertime herbs as they are such a welcome addition to wintertime meals.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Into The New Year We Go

 In my travels through blogland recently I have come to the following conclusions:
  • It is downright cold just about everywhere.
  • Many of us are enjoying the act of putting the house back together after the holidays.
  • De-cluttering as we restore order seems to be a popular theme.
 I can relate to all of these things.
I've been enjoying the beautiful photos you all are sharing of your winter snowfalls.  Despite frigid temperatures here, the best I can offer is a covering of ice on the goldfish pond this morning.
I haven't spotted the goldfish ice skating today, but I'm hoping they are doing whatever it is they do to survive these wintery days.

 Inside, where it is warm, the Christmas decor is now tucked away and I, too, am enjoying the fresh start that this new year brings.

Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays is behind us I like to fill my mug with something warm and spend a few leisurely hours on my version of "old school Pinterest".  Yep, it's true in this age of pinning I am still cutting and pasting my dreams and ideas into a little scrapbook of Christmas ideas.  

As much as I enjoy the holidays, I am happy to have some semblance of order returned to the house.
One day I filled the sink with warm, sudsy water and washed all of the counters and knick knacks in the kitchen.  With each swipe of the dishrag I felt the holiday excesses being whisked away.

It felt so good to wash away that greasy grime that tends to sneak onto the kitchen surfaces around the stove.  It also felt good to have the time to give my wooden spoons and cutting boards a fresh coat of mineral oil.  
I'm looking forward to a fresh start in my cooking.
Now that all of those Christmas goodies are gone, I'm moving forward with healthy soups, homemade breads & roasted veggies.  

Sometimes things look a bit bare after the Christmas decor is put away.
While it seems too early for the spring decor, my personal opinion is when in doubt, put a bird on it.  Ha Ha!!  Now if you weren't a bird lover that may seem strange, but around here that's the way we roll.  As a side note, once, after opening the birthday card I had given him, my dad said "you can always tell when a card is from Kim because it has a bird on it."  Ha!  
Anyhow, this sweet dish towel was a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law's friend.  She had gotten it at an estate sale and thought I would like it.  She's been to my house one time... I guess that's all it takes to know that a bird lover lives here :).

 On that note, I think I'll fly on out of here.
But first let me officially wish you all a Happy, Happy New Year.