Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Cheery Spring Welcome

When it comes to planting bulbs in the fall for color in the spring, I'm not always on top of the job.
I think it has something to do with being burned out from gardening throughout the hot summer.

Last fall I was intrigued by a bag of bulbs that was a mix of blue, yellow and white.
Hard to pass up that combination.
Now that spring has sprung, I'm glad I didn't pass it up.

I think they are rewarding me with a
cheery springtime welcome into my
blue/yellow & white home.

This week has been incredibly beautiful.
Warm enough to open the windows and blow out the winter cooties and eat lunch on the patio.  I plan to enjoy every possible moment out there before the hot, humid stuff arrives.
I hope that you, too, are noticing subtle signs of spring's arrival.

Just so you know that it's not all flowers and fresh air here.
It's also the season for dusting the pollen off of the front door and the outdoor furniture not to mention the cars.
I guess this explosion of blooms comes at a price.


Note to self:  Make the effort to plant those fall bulbs.  Come springtime, you'll be so glad you did!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Shall We Saunter Around the Springtime Garden?

Could I interest you in a little time in the garden today?
There's a light breeze on this mild spring day.
The air is fresh (except for that darn pollen) and the birds are singing their springtime serenades.

While most of the daffodils have already come and gone, I was happy to see the late bloomers just starting to pop out in the back corner of the garden.
Let's go back and take a closer look, shall we?

I may need to clip a few to bring inside before the entire daffodil season is over until next year. 

The garden bench in this corner comes in handy for gazing up into the flowering cherry tree.  Currently in it's glory, it won't be long until it too will be gone for another year.

Not far from the cherry tree, the dogwoods are just getting started.

Closer to the ground the colors are coming out in shades of blue...

Pink and...

I got to know them all a bit better while pulling weeds and collecting winter debris that had collected around them.
I think it's good to get down at their level once in a while to appreciate their beauty up closer.

While down there, I also noticed the state of my hydrangeas.
With all of our mild days this winter, they had started leafing out early.  Our late, short-lived snowfall has caused much damage to the tender new shoots.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will be able to re-bound from this shock to their system.
A peek into the nesting boxes shows that housekeeping has been set up in the form of a well-constructed mossy nest.
Soon a new family of baby birds will be welcomed into our world.
The circle of life.

Our weekend is destined to be a quiet and, somewhat, reflective one.
Peanut has little interest in the things that once brought her so much joy.  It's been particularly hard to see her losing interest in eating.
However, she still enjoys the warmth of the sun on her back and the scents that fill the outdoor air.
She has been content out here with her best buddy in the chair next to her.
They are convalescing together.
Brett no longer has his gall bladder.
As often happens with a medical emergency, we have learned an awful lot in a short time.
In his case there was no prior indication of a problem until
the tummy ache after dinner quickly escalated to a 10 on the pain scale.
A few days and several tests later it was determined that it needed to come out like NOW.
The surgeon was kind enough to share a picture (complete with gangrenous areas) with me post surgery:/.
Amazing and a bit disturbing that all that could be going on inside one's body with not much notice.
He is now home and resting and feeling better each day.

We wish to thank you for your kind words and prayers on his and Peanut's behalf.  It means so much to us.

Peanut will re-visit the vet on Monday.
We are coming to terms with her condition... but still... it's hard.
I know the pet lovers among us understand that.
For now, we take each moment as it comes.  Thankful for them all.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Best Buddies

Spring has sprung with the most beautiful weather here in NC.
I had hoped to be outside snapping springy pictures for the blog, but life had different plans.
A sick doggy was diagnosed with kidney failure along with several other problems.
I now understand the saying about dogs being like one of the children.
Four days in the emergency pet hospital with high hopes of improving those numbers enough to keep her well enough.
The numbers didn't change, yet the vet felt she could come home and be monitored until she tells us she is ready.
I'm not sure we will ever be ready:(.
Brett has become especially close to Peanut.
They are best buddies.
So, when he went from perfectly healthy to sick as a ... dog in a matter of hours I couldn't help but wonder about the way things happen.
The sick doggy is home from the hospital.
Brett is in the hospital awaiting surgery tomorrow.
I am, once again, reminded of how quickly things can change.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A New Way to Get Your Greens

While we try to stay on top of healthy eating, it can be a challenge to keep up with the information coming at us from so many different sources.  On top of that the thinking changes often on exactly what is good and bad for us.
However, one thing that never seems to change is something our mothers have been telling us for years...
"Eat your vegetables."
Lucky for me I enjoy most vegetables.
Although, I must admit, kale was something I had never even tried until just a few years ago.
I've since made it into chips and salads.  Since I know it is supposed to be super good for us, I am working on cultivating a LOVE for it.  So far, I think my favorite way to eat it is torn into small pieces in a soup.  I think it's the texture that is taking some getting used to.
But, since it does well in my garden, I am continuing my search for ways to incorporate it into my diet.
Recently I came across this idea from P. Allen Smith and decided to give it a try. 

I am now finding it very easy to do something else our mom's were good at... sneaking vegetables in any way they could.
A sprinkling of kale super green powder in my smoothie doesn't alter the taste yet makes me feel super good about eating my greens.
If you are a fan of kale, what is your favorite way to prepare it?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Springing Forward

Just when we were busy festooning the interior for Spring.
I opened my eyes this morning to the sight of tree tops covered in a glittery coating of white.  Tiny flakes swirled through the air as I nestled deeper into the covers trying to adjust to losing that one hour of sleep 😉
It may take an extra cup of coffee  and a few breaths of that cool morning air to get going today.
I think I'm up for the challenge.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Weekend Fun

Good Monday Morning to you.
How was your weekend?
Did you do anything fun/interesting?

We decided to tackle something on the "to do list".
For the past few years (okay, two to be exact), we've sat down together and made the list.
We did a pretty good job of tackling last year's list.
Although there was one thing that carried over to this year and that was finding a new pedestal sink and faucet for the powder room.

The current model has been serving us for the past 17 years.
Although most of those years I have found it to be on the skimpy side.
By that I mean it is a challenge to find a bottle of soap that will stay put while also leaving room to turn on the faucet.  Through the years the soap has fallen overboard on more than a few occasions.
The other issue with the current sink is that shiny brass faucet.
Not only is it out of fashion, but a closer look would show the odd shade of green it has turned over the years.   Along with the green "patina" the minerals in our water have been leaving an impossible to remove build-up on the brass.
No amount of scrubbing makes it look nice.
I think I've turned a blind eye to the whole thing.
Although when I stop and think that this is usually the only bathroom our guests see, I know it's time for an upgrade.

A weekend trip to a nearby bath/kitchen & lighting showroom was where we found ourselves on Saturday.
Last year we tried the local hardware type shops with no luck.
It was fun to see what the current trends are. 
Space limits us from having a sink with a cabinet below.
So, we looked around for one that would be slightly wider with a nice space for placing the soap bottle. 
This one seems to fit our requirements.
From there we checked out the faucets.
We knew that brushed nickel, oil rubbed bronze and chrome were out for us.  While there were a few shiny brass options, we wanted something different.  We're leaning toward a "champagne brass" finish.  Still brassy, but not bright and shiny.

The selection of light fixtures in this shop was amazing.
It's been a long time since I've shopped for any and they have changed a lot since then.
The chandelier above took my breath away.
I'm not sure I've ever seen one that I loved more.
I've always though a pretty chandelier over the bathtub would be delightful.
Just for the heck of it I checked out the price tag.
At nearly $2200 I'll content myself with a photo.

For now I'll just be happy to get that sink and faucet crossed off the list.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Backyard Visitors

Brett & I were sitting in the family room chatting before dinner yesterday when, out of the corner of my eye, I sensed something moving in the backyard. 

Turning to get a better view I was surprised to see two visitors.
Oh, dear deer!
It's not often that we've seen them this close to the house.
Naturally, I grabbed the camera and started snapping.
We thought they might take off if they saw us.
Ha, Ha!  Quite the opposite.  They seemed in no hurry to leave.
So, we just kept watching and snapping.

I started getting antsy when they sauntered over to the spring flowers.  I know they aren't interested in daffodils, but I wasn't sure about hyacinths.  All seemed to be going well until they started nibbling on the dogwood tree.  The dogwood tree that will soon be putting on it's beautiful show.
Time to make our presence known.
So, we did.
And off they went.

The End.